Based on various trends, including taxpayer migration to and from Rhode Island, I’ve suggested a theory that working and middle class families have been selling their homes and leaving the state. While I wouldn’t claim the following real estate data as absolute proof, it certainly does fit the scenario:
Across the board, homebuyers in Rhode Island last year were less likely to be married and have children living at home, compared to the national average, according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors.
The difference was most pointed in the group of first-time buyers — only 41 percent of this Rhode Island group was married, compared to 51 percent in the United States. Among all homebuyers, 55 percent were married in Rhode Island, versus 62 percent nationwide.
Rhode Island may be on the leading edge of a trend: the number of married-couple buyers has declined nationwide in the past 12 years, from 70 percent of the buyer pool in 1995 to 62 percent last year. However, home sellers in Rhode Island were more likely to be married (77 percent) than the national average (75 percent).
People with families to raise are, I suspect, more sensitive to political and economic deterioration, and they are probably less likely to want to tough it out, rather than avoid it altogether.