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Press Release

Contact: Kerry Park
Ph: 401-432-6948
Cell: 401-207-4502

FOR RELEASE: February 5, 2009

Multi-Family Market Sales Jump 100 Percent in December

Warwick, RI, February 5, 2009…The number of multi-family property sales doubled from 101 in December 2007 to 202 in December 2008 according to sales statistics released today by the Rhode Island Association of Realtors (RIAR).  The percentage of multi-family sales has been increasing throughout the year, up 33.2 percent in 2008 overall, (1254 in 2007 to 1670 last year) and up 92.9 percent in the fourth quarter from 281 to 542.

The spike in home sales was fueled by drastic price reductions caused by foreclosures and short sales.  Seventy-seven (77) percent of December and fourth quarter multi-family property sales were sold under duress.  Sixty-eight (68) percent of all 2008 sales were distressed.

“2008 was for buyers what 2005 was for sellers,” said Paul Leys, President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.  “People are snatching up multi-family properties at bargain basement prices which is helping to reduce inventory.”  RIAR reported 1322 multi-family properties for sale in Rhode Island during the last week in December 2008 compared to 1717 in December, 2007.

The median price of multi-family properties fell to $135,000 in 2008 from $255,000 in 2007, a 47.1 percent drop.  Last year’s price was similar to the 2000 median price of $135,976.  Price declines escalated throughout 2008 with fourth quarter prices dropping 51.2 percent from $215,000 in 2007 to $105,000 in 2008.  The December 2008 median price dropped under $100,000 to $95,450, down from $200,000 in December 2007, a 52.3 percent decline.

“If you’re a buyer, there are tremendous deals out there but the length of time and the complexity of the sales transaction have increased ten-fold. Lenders are overloaded with foreclosure and short sale paperwork.  ” Leys commented.  He advises using a professional experienced with distressed properties.

RIAR is supporting the efforts of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) which is asking legislators to help speed up the short sale and foreclosure process by encouraging lenders to remove unreasonable underwriting guidelines and modifying existing loans.

Paul Leys

State President


View 2008 Year End
Multi-Family Sales


View 2008 4th Quarter
Multi-Family Sales


View December 2008
Multi-Family Sales

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 7,000 members in approximately 900 offices, has been serving Rhode Islanders since 1948. Collectively, RI REALTORS┬« transacted nearly $7.9 billion in residential real estate sales last year and nearly $8.1 billion in total transactions including rentals and commercial real estate. 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.

The Association is one of more than 1,400 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 1.4 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.