By Associated Press - Wednesday, January 22, 2020

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The median price of a single-family home in Rhode Island has exceeded $280,000 for the first time since before the Great Recession.

Data released by the Rhode Island Association of Realtors on Wednesday showed the median sales price of a single-family home sold in 2019 totaled $285,000.

The newly released number tops the previous record of $282,900 back in 2005. The price increase comes amid debate over the issue of affordable housing among housing groups and the state’s top elected leaders.

While there has been an increase in demand for housing, there has not been a commensurate increase in supply, with the number of building permits for new housing units remaining at historically low levels in the past decade.

The issue came up during Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo’s State of the State speech last week, where her newly proposed state budget for the fiscal year introduced a new tax on all future home sales over $500,000.

The revenue from the tax would go toward a dedicated funding streaming to help build 250 affordable housing units for low-and-moderate-income residents each year.

Raimondo’s administration estimated the tax would generate around $3.6 million in state revenue next fiscal year and will more than double the following year.

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