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Barrington Market Update – September 30, 2020

As of this morning, there are 32 single family homes available for sale in Barrington, RI. When I first started tracking inventory in Barrington a few months ago, I was surprised at how low it was. I compared the level at that time to industry standards for “months of supply in a healthy real estate market.” Then, the trend with inventory levels continued further downward. This decline was happening around the same time that Coronavirus ramped up and interest rates were dropping.

Real estate trends amidst a pandemic

When I began analyzing the data, there seemed to be an increase in people moving from more densely populated cities such as Boston and New York to suburbs like Barrington that have a strong reputation for a good public education. Barrington also offers suburban life for people relocating from urban areas, while remaining close to Providence for the dining, arts, and entertainment that they were accustomed to in the city. Commuting to Boston regularly or even New York for business and occasional entertainment is also perfectly manageable from Barrington.

Initially, I assumed that this trend in inventory was temporary – and perhaps it still will be. I imagined that, because there was concern related to Coronavirus and having strangers in your house for property tours, sellers may be less likely to list for sale unless they really had to move. Oftentimes, the demographic of sellers in Barrington is slightly older. Some families stay here to raise and educate their children, and then move on when the kids are grown and out of the house. If sellers in Barrington are slightly older than average, then they are all in a category that puts them more “at risk” with Coronavirus, and it’s understandable to see why sellers would be reluctant to list their house for sale during the pandemic.

Now, the general public is getting much better at adapting to standard COVID safety precautions, and most sellers are aware that a good, responsible real estate agent will take all the safety measures necessary to keep everyone safe while prospective buyers and their real estate agents tour their property.

With all this in mind, I started to question why inventory levels have remained so low and even continued to trend further downward. There was a time when Barrington had well over a hundred single family homes on the market, and things moved along just fine. There were less positive times in the real estate past when there were over 200 homes on the market in Barrington, and although those weren’t the “healthy real estate markets” we like to see, the situation improved and we all survived. While there is talk about “the new normal” and COVID changing virtually every aspect of our daily lives, I wonder if the same is true for real estate sales and how this market works going forward.

The advantage of technology during COVID

Perhaps inventory levels will never return to 5-7 months of supply in a healthy economy. Consider this: buyers can now get instant information on homes the moment they hit the market. Successful real estate agents offer professional photos, floor plans, virtual tours, videos and other resources that allow consumers to essentially feel like they’ve toured the property within 15 minutes of noticing that it’s for sale. These days, buyers are walking in the door of a home primarily to verify that it is the way that they felt it was when they toured the property online. There are also occasions were buyers are comfortable with their buying decision having never actually visited the property in person. They can make that decision remotely, with the help of technology and a local agent that has “boots on the ground” as their advocate.  

Because buyers can obtain this level of analysis online, and most active buyers see every property they’re interested in within a matter of days from when it was first listed, we are forced to consider that the time on market for a properly-priced home might forever be reduced. I’m not suggesting that all homes will sell (or not) in a matter of days or weeks, and that this is “the new norm.” However, I am suggesting that, given the speed in which information is delivered to consumers and the amount of detailed information readily available to consumers, we might not return to 5-7 months of supply in a healthy real estate market again.

Working with the right team

This also emphasizes the importance of choosing the right team to market your property when you decide to sell. It is critical that you select an agent that has all the right tools and resources to present the home well online and to get in front of the most prospective buyers online.  Advertising and marketing online is now critically important so you attract buyers quickly.  Believe it or not, as days on market creep past just 30 or 45 days, buyers start to ask the question, “why hasn’t that house sold?”

This week in Barrington

16 of the 32 properties currently in Active / Available “For Sale” status are listed at or above $999,000. This leaves just 16 properties available across the entire town for less than $1,000,000, with a median price point of $561,450 and $275 per square foot of living space.

There are just 5 properties available between $600,000 & $998,000.

  • 467 Sowams Road: $687,100
  • 3 Colley Court: $799,000
  • 93 Rumstick Road: $859,000
  • 46 Alfred Drowne Road: $895,000
  • 12 Broadview Drive: $925,000

There are 4 properties available in the $500,000’s.

  • 30 Bowden Avenue: $544,900
  • 136 Lincoln Avenue: $578,000
  • 35 Priscilla Drive: $579,000
  • 15 Sylvester Street: $585,000

There are 3 properties available in the $400,000’s:

  • 16 Maudsley Avenue: $479,900
  • 9 Middle Highway: $469,000
  • 119 Maple Avenue: $439,000

There are 4 properties available under $400,000:

  • 215 Promenade Street: $399,900
  • 26 Prospect Street: $389,000
  • 550 County Road: $379,000
  • 550 Maple Avenue: $379,000

New properties to hit the market in the last 7 days

3 new properties have hit the market in the last week. One is located in the Primrose neighborhood and the other two are in the Nayatt neighborhood.

  • 119 Maple Avenue: $439,000
  • 215 Promenade Street: $399,900
  • 550 Maple Avenue: $379,000

Properties gone under contract in the last 7 days

9 properties have gone under contract in the last week. Here is the list of properties under contract in the last week and their asking price at the time they went under contract:

  • 346 Rumstick Road: $1,200,000
  • 21 Baron Road: $1,100,000
  • 7 Northwest Passage: $995,000
  • 25 Heritage Road: $649,000
  • 16 Greenwood Avenue: $509,000
  • 40 Fountain Avenue: $485,000
  • 135 Sowams Road: $425,000
  • 8 Sherbrooke Road: $399,900
  • 131 Bay Spring Avenue: $269,000

Properties sold “closed” in the last 7 days

There were 4 properties closed in the last week. Here is a list of properties “Closed” in the last 7 days and the price at which they were sold:

  • 128 Adams Point Road: $2,250,000
  • 3 Cheshire Drive: $445,000
  • 38 Massasoit Avenue: $429,900
  • 11 Bradford Street: $338,000

About Chart House Realtors

This market update is written by Matt Antonio, Team Leader for Chart House Realtors in Barrington, RI. Chart House is a Real Estate Sales Team working within the Keller Williams Realty system. We focus on providing a high level of service and detail representing buyers and sellers in all types of real estate transactions.

YTD, Chart House is currently the third-largest producer of sales in the East Bay, and the third largest producer of sales in Barrington. Chart House is also ranked among the top 1% in Rhode Island sales statewide. Keller Williams Realty, as a brand, is the largest volume producer for both dollars and units in the state of Rhode Island (YTD).

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