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Press Release

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


Rhode Island Home Sales Fall in November

Warwick, RI - January 6, 2009... Despite two previous months of increasing sales which indicated the beginning of a market turnaround, statistics released by the Rhode Island Association of Realtors (RIAR) today showed a decrease in sales volume and price in November. The number of existing single family homes sold was down 16.05 percent from November, 2007, to 455 in November 2008 from 542 a year prior. The median price of a single family home dropped from $265,000 to $202,500, or 23.58 percent, during the same time period. One hundred and sixty-eight (168) of the 455 sales were sold as short sales or through foreclosure. The median price of the 287 remaining "healthy" sales was $242,000. Fortunately, pending sales- those under contract but not yet closed – rose 19.54 percent and inventory decreased from 6100 single family homes on the market in November of 2007 to 5586 in November, 2008, both signs of housing recovery.

Condo sales followed suit with the median sales price dropping from $217,250 to $198,000 and the number of units sold falling more than 50 percent (54.73 percent) to 67 from 148. Fifty-two of the 67 sales involved short sales or foreclosures. Likewise, multi-family properties saw a fall in median price from $215,000 to $105,000 fueling increased demand. The number of multi-family properties sold increased 45.92 percent to 143 properties compared to the November 2007 level of 98. One hundred and eleven (111) of the 143 sales were distressed sales.

"I think this is just a blip in the trend of increased sales that we were seeing in September and October. In fact, preliminary sales data for December show single family home sales up year over year. It appears that the faltering national economy in early fall, along with Rhode Island’s dubious distinction of having the highest unemployment rate in the country, was wreaking havoc on the housing market in November. Consumer confidence is at an all time low and people are afraid to commit," said Paul Leys, President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors. "It’s unfortunate because you can’t get better selection, bargains or interest rates on housing than you can right now," he commented.

The National Association of Realtors is calling on Congress to implement more housing stimulus provisions which include extending the first time buyer tax credit to all buyers, eliminating the repayment feature, making temporary higher loan limits permanent and reducing interest rates to 4.5 percent. "A firm decision by Congress would help buyers get off the fence," said Leys.

Paul Leys

State President



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.