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Inventory Crunch Makes Providence the Number One Real Estate Market in the Nation

by Andrew King

Even though it’s only spring, the real estate market is sizzling hot in Providence.

For agents Ken Schadegg and Christine Dupuis, they’ve been working hard to find the perfect home for everybody, but that has proven to be a difficult task because there are only so many homes to go around.

“A lot of buyers are chasing very few listings,” said Schadegg, who serves as the Office Manager/Sales Associate for Lila Delman Real Estate International’s Providence office located at 369 South Main Street. Last year, the office was opened following major enhancements within a historical structure that is one of the oldest properties in the city. Like many buyers in Providence, Lila Delman Real Estate International found the best way to invest in the city was to  convert existing property into a new use.

“There is not much new construction in Providence,” Dupuis said. “But there are a lot of conversions.”

Some of these are loft properties that are former warehouses that have been retrofitted into modern loft-style apartments. Such housing products are very popular for millennial buyers, who take advantage of the city’s live-work-play lifestyle and it’s thriving job market.

Schadegg took note that, unlike other New England cities, not too many companies have left Providence in recent years. The stable economy has played a big part in the city’s recent real estate resurgence.

“It’s the same employers that are fueling the surge,” he said. “Nobody is leaving, and when nobody leaves, that puts a lot of pressure on prices.”

Elite sectors, including Brown University and the medical field, have fueled much of the demand, Schadegg added.

In December, the national media took notice as realtor.com named Providence the No. 1 “Real Estate Market to Watch in 2016,” citing its abundant job market and key demographics such as older millennials (25 to 34 years old), younger Gen Xers (35 to 44 years old), and retirees (65 to 74 years old). Schadegg said this type of high-profile exposure for Providence further stimulates local sales activity - not just because it increases awareness, but because it also validates the rising prices in the minds of many buyers.

“When buyers come into the market that is upward trending, they come in hesitant,” he said. “Publicity makes them more comfortable paying what they pay.”

Mass media validation is good for sellers, too, Schadegg added.

“This is going to be the kind of market that everybody is going to brag about selling their property in 2016,” he said. “We’re telling all of our clients, ‘if you're thinking of selling, do it now rather than later - and do it with Lila Delman.’”

 For information about listing your home or learning what properties are currently available, please call the Lila Delman Real Estate International office in Providence at (401) 274-1644.