May 15, 2008

What, Me Worry?

Justin Katz

Anybody who doesn't see what the big deal is when Don laments our state's lack of a sense of urgency need only read through yesterday's business pages. The values of assets are plummeting:

The median price of a multifamily house in Rhode Island during the first quarter declined about 39 percent, to $161,000, compared with $263,000 a year earlier. More than half the 261 multifamily houses sold during the quarter were bank-owned foreclosure sales, according to the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.

Condos aren't moving:

Sales of condominiums during the first quarter plunged 37 percent, as more units sat on the market unable to find buyers, according to data from the Rhode Island Association of Realtors. Only 244 condos sold during January, February and March, down from 390 during the same period a year ago, the data show.

At that pace, it would take 22 months — nearly two years — to sell all the 1,772 condos on the market during the first quarter of this year, according to an analysis of data from the statewide Multiple Listing Service.

"Holy smokes!" exclaimed Suzanne E. Mulvee, a senior real-estate economist in Boston with Property & Portfolio Research, upon hearing about Rhode Island’s condo inventory. "That sales volume is absolutely falling off the cliff."

And URI economist Leonard Lardaro is trying to shout us awake:

In a statement with the [Current Conditions Index], Lardaro said, "Anyone who denies that Rhode Island is in a recession is clearly delusional. More importantly, based on our state's 2008 economic performance, we have entered a second and deeper recession phase, where prior economic activity levels will continue to become ever-more unattainable. Having to eliminate large [state] budget deficits amid all this weakness will prove to be far more difficult than almost anyone here has imagined."

Folks, we're heading into a helluva time that some of us won't be able to make it through as Rhode Islanders. Whom we enable to remain, however, will determine the darkness and duration of the night.

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Keep votin' Democrat!

Posted by: Citizen Critic at May 15, 2008 2:45 PM

Looks like we've found a market bottom. Time to buy.

Posted by: Chuck at May 15, 2008 7:30 PM


RI housing has not found the bottom yet.

You've got at least 2 more ARM resets on loans. Try looking towards 2010 before the dust starts to settle in RI.

There will be a lot of pain.

Try the following report by The United States Conference of Mayors; "U.S. Metro Economies, The Mortgage Crisis" dated: November 2007


Posted by: Ken at May 15, 2008 8:23 PM

The good news is if valuations go down 39% Sissyline will lower taxes 39%.

Posted by: Mike at May 15, 2008 8:43 PM
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