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Press Release

Contact: Kerry Park
Ph: 401-432-6948


Rhode Island Sees Annual Increase in Single Family Home Prices in November for the First Time Since Mid 2006

Warwick, RI, December 22, 2009…The November median price of Rhode Island single family home sales increased 1.2 percent to $205,000 from $202,500 the year prior.  The gain marks the first month that median price has risen since July of 2006.  The news followed a report from Zillow, a national real estate tracker, which recognized Rhode Island as second only to Boston in having the largest gain in home values in 2009.

Sales volume in single family home sales also showed strong gains for the eighth consecutive month, up 61.1 percent in November.  Inventory fell 16.5 percent and is at its lowest level since January 2006.  There is a 6.4 month supply of homes on the market, a sign that indicates Rhode Island is close to seeing a balance between buyer and seller demand.

“The real estate market is coming back strong despite the state’s economy,” said Karl Martone, President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.  Martone explained that home affordability has never been better in Rhode Island.  “Since prices and interest rates have fallen, a buyer can get into a bigger or better home for less money than they would have been able to at any time in recent history.  And, the extension and expansion of the tax credit of up to $6500 for move-up buyers and $8000 for first time buyers, means that consumers at all price points can get extraordinary deals if they act now.”  For more than 30 years, mortgage rates ranged from a low of seven percent to a high of 18 percent. Today’s rates hover around five percent. The last time rates trended from low to high and back again, it took more than 30 years to return to the low of 7.25 percent of 1970.

Just over 23 percent of all single family home sales sold through short sale or foreclosure, down from 36.9 percent in November 2008. The median price of properties that did not sell through distressed sales was $225,000.  There was no discernable pattern of price fluctuations throughout the state with prices varying greatly from town to town. Twelve municipalities saw a double digit percentage increase in price from November 2008 to November 2009 while eight saw double digit decreases.  Median prices ranged from $2,050,000 in Little Compton to $105,500 in Central Falls.

“It was more apparent than ever in November that real estate is local.  Median price was up by as much as 107 percent in one part of the state and down by 47 percent in another,” Martone commented.

The multi-family market saw a 9.4 percent increase in median price along with a 19.6 increase in sales volume year to year. Properties selling through foreclosure or short sale comprised 62 percent of all multi-family sales, down from just over 80 percent in November 2008. The number of properties for sale in November fell 26.7 percent from November 2008.

While condo sales also increased, up 88 percent, the median price dropped to $174,500, down 11.9 percent from $198,000 in November 2008. Only 18.3 percent of sales were sold through foreclosure or short sale.  “Rising prices typically follow an extended period of increased sales.  We’ve seen a three-month trend of rising sales in the condo market so we’re hopeful that rising prices will follow shortly and follow the trend of the single and multi-family markets,” said Martone.  “Right now, the stars are aligned for nearly all buyers. If they don’t buy now, they will kick themselves later. Right now, it is buy now or cry later.”

Sales statistics released from the Rhode Island Association of REALTORS is derived from information gathered by State-Wide MLS. The data reflect the actual closing date of sales, not the date sales are recorded in the town records. All data is reported within 48 hours of closing per State-Wide MLS rules.

Karl Martone

State President

Single Family Sales
By Town

About the Rhode Island Association of REALTORS®

The Rhode Island Association of REALTORS®, one of the largest trade organizations in Rhode Island with more than 5,000 members in nearly 1,000 offices, has been serving Rhode Islanders since 1948. Advocating for Rhode Island's property owners, the Rhode Island Association of REALTORS® provides a facility for professional development, research and exchange of information among its members and to the public and government for the purpose of preserving the free enterprise system and the right to own real property. Last year, RI Realtors transacted $6.9 billion in residential real estate sales and $7.1 billion in total sales and rentals including commercial transactions.

The Association is one of more than 1,500 boards and associations that comprise the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America's largest trade association, representing over 1.5 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries and who subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics.

REALTOR® is a federally registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.