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Press Release

Contact: Kerry Park
Ph: 401-432-6948
Email: kerry@rirealtors.org

Depleting Supply Causes Rhode Island Home Prices to Skyrocket

Warwick, R.I. – May 18, 2021 -- Once again, the Rhode Island Association of Realtors reported an all-time high in Rhode Island’s monthly median sales price of single-family homes. April’s median price was $349,000, an 18.1 percent gain from April of 2020.

Despite the extremely low inventory of homes for sale, closing activity rose 15.9 percent last month. At the current rate of sales, the supply of homes on the market would be depleted within 1.2 months, far below the five- to six-month supply which typically signifies a market balanced between supply and demand. 

Homes placed under contract in April but not yet closed rose 48.6 percent from a year ago, during which time the number of single-family homes on the market fell 50.9 percent. This combination bodes for an even further erosion of supply.

“It’s hard to believe the appreciation that we’ve seen in the housing market in the past few years. In April 2015, our median sales price didn’t even hit $200,000. Now just six years later, we’re seeing more than a 75 percent gain. That’s great news for homeowners but for those trying to buy their first home, the scarcity of homes for sale and accompanying rising prices, are making for a difficult home search,” said Leann D’Ettore, President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.

Multifamily homes see largest price gains

The median sales price of multifamily home sales also continued to skyrocket. At $355,000, April’s median price represented a 24.6 percent gain from the prior year. Apart from June of last year – a month in which closings were significantly impacted by the pandemic shutdown - the multifamily home sector has seen double-digit, year-over-year increases every month for the past 15 months. Appreciation in this sector has grown even more than the gains seen in the single-family home market in recent months. 

“Multifamily homes are popular because they provide a means to home ownership which provides income through rentals for those needing the extra infusion of monthly cash. But those properties are also attractive to cash investor buyers looking to capitalize on rising rents and escalating real estate values. With incentives for multifamily homes at both ends of the spectrum, it’s not surprising to see prices rising so rapidly,” said D’Ettore.

Closing activity rose 74.4 percent, though gains were facilitated by the fact that multifamily home sales in April of 2020 were stalled by the pandemic shutdown. Though listings were up slightly, just 3.6 percent, from 12 months earlier, they remained historically low with just 342 multifamily homes for sale in all of Rhode Island.

Condo owners begin to see higher gains

Though the condominium market saw more tempered price appreciation than other sectors of the market in recent months, April’s median sales price jumped 15.6 percent to $288,000. Closing activity rose by 95.7 percent from the prior year, as those shut out of the competitive single-family and multifamily markets, turned their attention to condo alternatives.

“We need more housing stock of all types in Rhode Island and until we get it, supply and demand are going to be unbalanced. It’s so important that we remember that real estate drives the economy and that younger generations need the chance to build wealth through home ownership. This issue deserves the attention of our legislators and regulators,” commented D’Ettore.

Housing Statistics Archives

Months Supply: Click here for interactive display

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.

press photo

Leann D'Ettore

2021 President,
RI Association of REALTORS®


April 2021
Single-family Monthly
Sales Comparison


April 2021
Multifamily Monthly
Sales Comparison


April 2021
Condo Monthly
Sales Comparison


April 2021
Single-family Sales
By Town