Attraction To different Circles of Society
Brown University, a private Ivy League school founded in 1764, is often considered the jewel of the institutions, but the city is also home to one of the country’s best design schools, Rhode Island School of Design, and a major culinary school at Johnson & Wales University. Providence College, a private Roman Catholic university, is about two miles northwest of downtown. This eclectic collegiate mix gives the city a youthful and bohemian atmosphere, says Justin Madoff, a native of Providence and an estate agent at Badger Realty. “Providence is a relatively affordable city, and that is attractive to many of the young people who live and work here,” he says. “They drive this city’s atmosphere and economy but also its real estate market.”
The median price of a home in Providence reached $168,000 in May, according to national real estate brokerage Redfin. While that is down 1 percent from May 2015, it is a rise of 23 per cent from May 2014, says Redfin.
Providence’s property market is divided in two. The East Side, hometown to Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design, is seen as a traditional market where some of the most expensive homes can be found. The area has several lively, walkable neighborhoods and blocks of trendy shops, restaurants, and cultural institutions, including Trinity Repertory Company and Providence Performing Arts Center, both city landmarks. On Cooke Street, one of the oldest streets in New England, a nine-bedroom, six bathroom home is being marketed by Residential Properties for $2.95m. Built in 1902, the 7,700 sq ft, Colonial Revival house was renovated in 2008.
The state’s most expensive properties are found on the coast, in towns such as Jamestown and Westerly, which are within an hour’s drive of Providence
Its healthy collegiate population has made Providence a strong rental market, says Peter Scotti, owner, and broker at Peter M Scotti & Associates. He says rental rates on the East Side range from about $750 to $900 per bedroom.
According to RealtyTrac, the Providence real estate marketplace has roughly 538 homes for sale. That number represents a 59 percent jump from the completion of 2016. However, there are an extra 745 homes that are in some stage of the foreclosure process – be it failure to pay, public sale or bank retained. As recently as the first month of this year, the figure of properties that received a foreclosure filing in Providence was 23 percent lesser than the end of 2014. Perhaps more importantly, today’s amount of foreclosure is actually 3 percent higher than this time last year. The average worth of a foreclosed home plunged almost 20 percent in the last year, making the foreclosure discount about $49,000 (34.8%), compared to non-distressed properties. Buyers, and particularly investors, will find the foreclosures in Providence a welcome sight.