2008-08-07 / Front Page

Jamestown real estate market stays healthy

By Eileen M. Daly

The doom and gloom real estate market portrayed in many recent news stories is not an accurate portrayal of the Jamestown housing market according to local Realtors.

Ask Melanie Delman of Lila Delman Real Estate, for instance, and she'll tell you business is booming. Delman, and her associate Robin Nicholson, were recently the selling agents for the Fowler's Rock property, located at 340 East Shore Rd., for a record setting $6.9 million. High-end buyers still recognize a good value here in Jamestown, Delman said. "We are fortunate to not see a lot of erosion and waterfront properties with amenities are still selling quite well here," Delman added.

John Hodnett, also with Lila Delman Real Estate, shares his optimistic appraisal of the market. "Realistic sellers with ap- propriately priced homes will not have any problem selling their properties," he said. Although agents are no longer seeing the kind of buyers who throw caution to the winds and make ill-advised purchases, they are not having any problem making sales, Hodnett said.

Even the rental market, which has recently had some bad press, is not suffering here in Jamestown, according to Hodnett. "People that are spending thousands of dollars on their vacations are not going to cancel because it costs $20 instead of $15 to drive down," he said.

Island Realty was the selling broker for the Fowler's Rock property. Carol Hopkins, co-owner of the company with Ginny Prichett, also confirmed the stability of the real estate market here in Jamestown. She pointed out that the same number of houses have been sold on the island this year as were sold here last year. The difference, she said, is that there are more homes available, particularly in the mid-range prices. "With more homes to choose from buyers can afford to be a little more selective, but most of our sellers do not need to sell their homes so they are comfortable with letting them stay on the market a little longer," Hopkins said.

Competitive pricing is also a factor, Pritchett said. "We are aware of the fact that lenders are tightening their belts and appraisers are being very careful with their assessments, so we are working very hard with the buyer and the seller to achieve a good outcome for everyone," she said.

The national and state downturns are not the worst Pritchett has seen since becoming an agent in 1989. "I was an agent during the recession in 1991, and this is a much more active market," she said.

Gloria Kurz, principal broker with Mansions and Manors, expressed a similar positive assessment of the Jamestown housing market. "Activity continues to be very, very strong," she said. The upper end of the market has done very well since the beginning of the year, according to Kurz. "There were 14 sales of properties in the $1 million and over range compared with eight last year," she said. "The Fowler's Rock sale, of course, represents big news for the island and the real value of that property is even higher than the $6.9 million it sold for," Kurz said. "The property was originally on the market for $8.9 million. It was then taken off the market and a neighbor purchased some of the land for $1.5 million, before the remaining property was sold," she said.

Even more remarkable, according to Kurz, is the fact that Jamestown outperformed the rest of the state in sales of high-end properties worth over $1 million. "We are really such a unique location here in Jamestown. We remain insulated from some of the problems seen in other areas," she said. "For instance, according to the last reports I've seen there is no record or report of foreclosure on any property in Jamestown."

Kurz has been a realtor for over 22 years and has seen a number of these real estate cycles over the years, she said. She is confident that the local market will remain strong. "We are incredibly busy and the market remains quite active," she said.

Noah Anacleto, mortgage broker with Superior Mortgage, has also been in the business for many years. "I've been doing this for close to 25 years and have seen a number of ups and downs in the economy," he said. While Anacleto wouldn't say the economy has had no impact on the market, he said he sees the impact as more procedural than anything else. "Income verification and other procedures have become more stringent," he said. And, those procedural changes are not all bad, according to Anacleto. In fact, "one of the more positive impacts has been the cleaning up of the industry. Many of the companies with poor reputations have gone out of business," he said.

Bill Murphy, a mortgage broker with Citizens Bank, confi rmed that lenders are returning to more rigorous procedures, but pointed out that Citizens has always maintained traditional lending practices. "I've always told my clients, 'if we don't give you a mortgage, you probably shouldn't have one," Murphy said.

The Jamestown market is still a strong market, according to Murphy. "It's a more secure market and there is the great advantage of having an all volunteer fire and rescue department which results in a much lower tax rate," Murphy said. "Jamestown is still a good place to buy."

Anacleto pointed out that RI Housing is still offering very aggressive financing with below market rates for properties at or under $417,000. First- time homebuyers are also going to benefit from an interest free tax credit of $7,500 retroactive to April 1, 2008. These programs will help to further stimulate the market, Anacleto said, and he remains confident that the industry will continue to prosper.

REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS

Jan 6, Clarke sold to Strang, property at 146 Longfellow Rd. for a sum of $1,075,000.

Jan. 9, Zenie sold to Beneville, property on Highland Drive for a sum of $425,000.

Jan. 9, Zenie sold to Beneville, property at 104 Blueberry Lane for a sum of $1,500,000.

Jan. 11, Burse sold to Gaillard, property at 7 Sail St. for a sum of $333,000.

Jan. 15, Flanagan sold to D'Jamoos, property at 100 Longfellow Rd. for a sum of $1,450,000.

Jan. 18, Tyre sold to Noll, property at 38 E. Shore Rd. for a sum of $2,100,000.

Jan. 22, Vieira sold to Vieira, property at 35 Plymouth Rd. for a sum of $224,000.

Jan. 25, Alexander sold to 25 Narragansett, property at 25 Narragansett Ave. for a sum of $700,000.

Jan. 25, Fantoli sold to Fantoli, property at 30 Melrose Ave. for a sum of $233,500.

Jan. 28, Mathews sold to Decatur property at 5 Decatur Ave. for a sum of $949,500.

Jan. 30, Morris sold to Dutra, property at 87 Southwest Ave. for a sum of $425,000.

Feb. 15, Kearney sold to Smith, property at 426 Schooner Ave. for a sum of $385,000

Feb. 20, Goldberg sold to Travisono, property at 200 East Shore Rd. for a sum of $2,750,000.

Feb. 26, Kosacz sold to Bard, property on Clarke's Village Lane for a sum of $500,000.

Feb. 29, 11 Mast St. sold to Sprague, property at 11 Mast St. for a sum of $695,000.

Feb. 29, 11 Mast St. sold to Sprague, property at 11 Mast St. for a sum of $458,000.

March 3, Sahagian sold to McDonough, property at 77 Blueberry Lane for a sum of $450,000.

March 3, Howard sold to Urban, property at 12 Southwest Ave. for a sum of $428.000.

March 4, Silvia sold to Silvia, property at 15 Reservoir Circle for a sum of $401,000.

March 6, Rainone sold to Tutsch, property at 991 North Main Rd. for a sum of $420,000.

March 7, Evangelista sold to Dewey et, property at 1088 East Shore Rd. for a sum of $5,303,770.

March 10, Kane sold to Benjamin, property at 1235 North Main Rd. for a sum of $1,363,000.

March 25, Ethel & Lucy sold to Goyette, property at 47 Conanicus Ave. for a sum of $192,000.

March 25, Clarke sold to Ethel & Lucy, property at 4 Ferry Wharf for a sum of $35,000.

March 26, Clarke sold to Andrews, property at 108 Howland Ave. for the sum of $467,607.

March 31, Pennine sold to Evangelista, property at 579 E. Shore Rd. for the sum of $525,000.

April 4, Noll sold to Procaccianti, property at 19 Priscilla Rd. for the sum of $995,000.

April 10, Andrews sold to Andrews, property at 57 Columbia Ave. for the sum of $570,000.

April 18, Cone sold to Dunphy, property at 394 Felucca Ave. for a sum of $485,000.

April 24, Ryan sold to Poston, property at 3 Stanchion Ave. for a sum of $574,000.

April 30, Oswald sold to Long, property at 88 Spindrift St. for a sum of $285,000.

April 30, Tyler sold to McCombs, property at 2 Arnold St., for a sum of $1,000,000.

May 1, Thompson sold to Oswald, property on North Main Road for a sum of $420,000.

May 5, Hutchinson sold to Avalon, property at 2 Grey Gull Rd. for a sum of $850,000.

May 5, Hutchinson sold to Avalon, property at 3 Grey Gull Lane for a sum of $1,160,000.

May 8, Muir sold to Klaimitz, property at 62 Whittier Rd. for the sum of $1,813,750.

May 9, Heiss sold to Vinelli, property at 15 High St. for the sum of $1,400,000.

May 12, Pearson sold to Monroe, property at 15 Seaside Drive for a sum of $1,699.000.

May 12, Wharton sold to Borell, property at 29 Gondola Ave. for a sum of $515,000.

May 13, Pike sold to Brescia, property at 19 Seaview Ave. for a sum of $875,000.

May 14, Testa sold to Dean, property at 50 Frigate St. for the sum of $410,000.

May 16, Clarke sold to Ferrara, property at 30 Lawn Ave. for the sum of $400,000.

May 21, Lanteman sold to Cho, property at 103 Umiak Ave. for the sum of $525,000.

May 21, Lange sold to Forster, property at 57 High St. for the sum of $685,000.

May 21, Vinal sold to Dickinson, property at 18 Mt. Hope Ave. for a sum of $430,000.

May 22, Geddes sold to McCarthy, property at 15 Maple Ave. for the sum of $526,000.

May 29, LaVoie sold to Grant, property at 12 Pardon-Tucker Place for the sum of $560,000.

May 30, Reardon sold to Morgan, property at 30 Bonnet View Drive for the sum of $1,150,000.

June 6, Fidelity sold to Diorio et, property at 27 Luther St. for the sum of $299,500.

June 8, Head sold to Andrews, property at 82 Howland Ave. for the sum of $450,000.

June 13, Blanchard sold to Slea, property at 11 Clarke's Village Rd. for the sum of $410,000.

June 23, Haas sold to McClure, property at 158 Highland Drive for the sum of $3,700,000.

June 24, Grenier sold to Deutsche Bank, property at 20 Hull St. for the sum of $353,000.

June 27, Wells Fargo sold to McCaffrey, property at 80 Spanker St. for the sum of $235,000.

June 30, Balcom sold to Paradis, property at 24 Lawn Ave. for the sum of $325,000.

July 1, Head sold to Head, property on East Shore Rd. for the sum of $273,000.

July 2, Jones et sold to Pothin, property at 20 Cole St. for the sum of $309,000.

July 3, Kitts et sold to Tamburini, property at 117 Howland Ave. for the sum of $375,000.

July 15, 2008, A.M.S. sold to Howard et, property at 59 Ferry St. for the sum of $299,000.

July 17, Dahl et sold to Blacker, property at 20 Grinnell St. for the sum of $400,000.

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