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Last-Minute Sales Surge Inspires Hope in Rhode Island
Last-minute sales surge inspires hope    
January 24, 2012
While prices and sales declined for all of 2011, an end-of-year jump in sales leads Realtors to believe that the light at the end of the tunnel may become visible in 2012
A 10-percent jump in the number of houses sold in the fourth quarter was a positive end to another rough year for Rhode Island’s housing market, as foreclosures continued to drag median prices down in 2011.Median house prices fell nearly 12 percent in the fourth quarter, to $185,000, and 7 percent overall in 2011, to $195,000, thanks to the continuing stream of foreclosures and short sales. The number of these “distressed” house sales was up slightly in 2011.
There were 1,715 houses sold in Rhode Island in the fourth quarter, up 159 from the 1,556 sold in the fourth quarter of 2010. But 103 of the 159 additional sales in 2011 were “distressed,” either foreclosures or short sales. In short sales, properties are sold for less than the outstanding loan balance.States have been negotiating with the nation’s largest mortgage lenders about foreclosure-related irregularities. If a settlement is reached, it “may unleash more foreclosures,” Retsinas added, and that would exert more ... more

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