October 11th, 2012

Last Thursday, we hosted an event to help two community organizations fund their activities. The opportunity came when one of our managers got involved in a theatrical performance here in Providence.  The group, called The Players, performs shows at the Barker Playhouse on Benefit Street on the East Side of Providence.  During the run of each show, they offer one evening where an organization can purchase the entire house and develop it into a fundraiser or offer it as a benefit to employees or clientele.  We chose to do both.

Don't Shush the Singer number from James Joyces' The DeadThe show was open to agents and guests as a perk.  We suggested that each person make a donation to the RI Community Food Bank instead of paying a ticket price.  It was left up to the agent to decide what they wanted to contribute.  That is where the generosity of our Residential Property family started to flow.  On Friday, we forwarded $1,410 in donations to the RI Community Food Bank .

The Food Bank is a vital organization providing their needed service to help those who are having a rough time providing meals.  Based in Providence, the group reaches out across the state.  Several groups partner with them with support from larger corporations. Donations are gladly accepted and they explain how you can donate to them on their site.

The Players is also a non-profit organization.  It was established as a club back in 1909 by Harry Barker and Professor Thomas Crosby of Brown University (he was the founder of Sock and Buskin at Brown in 1901) to present live theater to the citizens of Providence.  It is the oldest continuously running little theater in the US.   Membership is open to those interested in theater, whether it be performing, contributing or watching.  Our purchase of the night helped them in their quest to provide good theater.

July 3rd, 2012

It seems like the 4th of July crept up on us all this year. With the holiday falling on a Wednesday, there was much debate over when to celebrate, and this is evident in the schedule of fireworks displays throughout the state. 16 cities and towns in Rhode Island are having events to commemorate the holiday. Most are on the third or the fourth, but some are as late as the 7th. We have created this interactive map to help you sort out when the explosions of red, white, and blue will be in your area.

View Fireworks! in a larger map

July 2nd, 2012

Statewide, the year to date number of transactions for all properties is up 16.78% from the same time period last year, while the median sale price is down 7.14% to $162,500. However, not all areas saw decreases. In fact, 18 of Rhode Island’s 39 cities and towns, saw sale prices improve. This is based on data from RIAR’s Statewide MLS system for all properties types from January 1 to May 31 for both 2011 and 2012.

Here are some tidbits we found. The median sale price was up from the year prior in 11 towns—Burrillville, Coventry, Foster, Glocester, Hopkinton, Jamestown, Little Compton, Narragansett, New Shoreham, North Smithfield, and Westerly. Although New Shoreham (32.46%), Foster (29.13%), and Jamestown (27.28%) saw double digit appreciation, these numbers may not be as significant as they seem, since those areas only had a limited number of transactions (less than 20).

The average sale price increased in 15 municipalities, and dramatically so in areas like Newport (19.45%), Westerly (17.59%), Providence (17.12%), and North Kingstown (14.86%). Still, the median sale price in these areas stayed mainly stagnant, suggesting that properties in the higher end of the market are starting to sell.

The decreasing statewide median (-7.14%) and average sale price (-3.36%) brings into focus how a statewide number mitigates the positive in some some areas. The decrease largely reflects denser residential areas like Cranston, Central Falls, East Providence, Pawtucket, Warwick, and West Warwick, which have seen the impact of the foreclosure and short sale inventory being worked through the market system. Those towns should start to see a turnaround as that inventory is now reported to be at much lower levels, and we will follow the data through the end of the year. At that point the numbers will be more meaningful for all cities and towns and will probably smooth over some of the anomalies.

We have charted the complete list of Rhode Island communities with their corresponding average and median price developments for your convenience. We have grouped the data by community, so choose a set from the drop down menu to view prices for that region.