PROVIDENCE — Newly released census data shows that Rhode Island ranked No. 15 in the country for highest housing values among US states, and costs are only rising.
Rhode Island had a median home value of nearly $277,000 in 2020, according to data collected for the American Community Survey 5-year estimates. Among New England states, it falls behind the median home value of nearly $400,000 in Massachusetts and just shy of $279,000 in Connecticut.
The survey tracked data from a time period between 2016 and 2020, which was before the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on an already booming residential real-estate market.
The data also found that specific cities and towns saw rapid gains to home values, reporting that values were worth nearly 40 percent higher in Jamestown, a municipality that saw the most growth, than they were in 2010, which was the last time the survey was released. In Jamestown, the median owner-occupied home value was $664,900 in 2020, up from $492,900 in 2010 — a $172,000 jump. In Newport, the median owner-occupied home value was $495,000 in 2020, up from $429,000 in 2010. In Glocester, the median owner-occupied home value was $318,700 in 2020, a $32,500 increase from 2010.
New Shoreham, which is Block Island, had the highest median home value in 2020 at $900,700. But the survey did not provide any data from 2010 to conclude how the value has changed.
Other cities and towns saw significant losses in home values over the last decade, particularly in Central Falls, where home values reportedly decreased by more than 22 percent. Central Falls, a majority-Latino city that contains many undocumented residents, grew in population by nearly 17 percent from 2010 to 2020. But the median owner-occupied home value in 2020 was $176,300 compared to $227,200 in 2010.
In Woonsocket, the median owner-occupied home value dropped by nearly 16 percent — from $191,900 in 2020 compared to $227,400 in 2010. In Tiverton, the median owner-occupied home value in 2020 was $281,900 compared to $318,300 in 2010 — an 11.4 percent decrease.
The survey did not offer a breakdown of unit size, yet Rhode Island had only 1.9 percent more housing units in 2020 than it did a decade ago, but the population grew by 4.3 percent during that same time.
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