Finding your dream home has never been easier.


"The Voice of Real Estate in Rhode Island"
Serving Rhode Islanders Since 1948
Follow us: Twitter Facebook

Press Release

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

FOR RELEASE: January 29, 2009


Warwick, RI - January 29, 2009... Single family home sales dropped 12.5 percent in 2008, from 7600 in 2007 to 6648 in 2008 according to year-end sales statistics released today by the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.  Year-over-year sales began to increase in September however, and have risen each month since, with the exception of November.  Sales were up 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter, from 1549 from October to December 2007 to 1570 during the same time period in 2008.  In December, single family home sales increased 7.4 percent from 455 in December 2007 to 491 last month.

The increased sales have been sparked in part by the falling prices which accompany distressed sales.  Distressed sales – short sales or foreclosures - accounted for 26.3 percent of total sales in 2008.  Year end sales statistics show the median price of a single family existing home in 2008 was $234,900 compared to $275,000 in 2007, a decrease of 14.6 percent.  The median price of those that weren’t sold as distressed sales last year was $265,000. 

In the fourth quarter the median price fell 20.8 percent ($259,000 in 2007 to $205,000 in 2008.) The fourth quarter non-distressed median sale price was $250,000. More than one-third (35.6 percent) were distressed sales.

December closed the year with 43.4 percent of the single family sales, (213 of the 491,) sold as short sales or foreclosures.  The December median price declined 24 percent from $250,000 in December 2007 to $190,000 last month. Non-distressed sales fared better, matching the December 2007 median price of $250,000. 

“We’re definitely seeing a trend.  Foreclosure sales and the accompanying price decreases have initiated increased sales” said Paul Leys, President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors. “The faster we move these properties through the market cycle, the sooner prices will begin to stabilize. The good news is that with sales on the upswing, inventory is decreasing.”  According to data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), Rhode Island is one of a handful of states that is seeing an increase in home sales.  Leys commented that historically low interest rates, a vast selection of homes to choose from, and government programs targeted at increasing sales, have also helped to spur the increase in demand.

The most current indicator of sales trends – December pending sales – shows sales under contract up 32.9 percent, from 665 in December 2007 to 884 last month.  Sales under contract generally close within 60 to 90 days, though the current lending market has lengthened that timeframe on some properties.  Single family home inventory was down in December for the seventh month in a row, from 5663 in December 2007 to 5186 in December 2008, a decrease of 8.4 percent.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is asking regulators to help financial institutions resolve problems in the short-sale process, making it easier for servicers to modify existing loans and take steps to shortening the time needed to process short sale approval and speed up market stabilization.  NAR is also pushing for a housing recovery plan that lowers interest rates to 4.5 percent or lower; eliminates the need to pay back the $7500 tax credit for first time homebuyers and lengthen it’s time frame; and reinstates higher loan limits for FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

“We’re hopeful that NAR’s initiatives will be implemented by the new Administration. They will help restore the market by decreasing foreclosures and stabilizing home prices,” said Leys. “But, it’s just as important to put the current situation in context to help restore consumer confidence. There are about a quarter million single family households in Rhode Island.  Last year, 1752 of them were sold through short sales or foreclosure.  That’s 1752 too many but thankfully, it’s less than one percent of Rhode Island homes.”

Paul Leys

State President


View 2008 Year End
Single Family Sales


View 2008 4th Quarter
Single Family Sales


View December 2008
Single 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.