Rhode Island 2020 First Quarter Market Report



The Rhode Island housing market benefited from mild weather and low interest rates which resulted in increased sales in the first quarter of the year when compared to 2019. Over 2,500 single-family homes and condominiums sold from January to March, a 7.6% increase when compared to 2019. Average days on market dropped year over year to 69 days, while average price was up 15.9% to $351,969.

Steady home prices and fourth-quarter gains carried into 2020 across all single-family home price points, most notably in the luxury market. There were nearly double the number of homes sold over $1 million in the state of Rhode Island in the first quarter when compared to 2019; 60 vs. 33. The average price for the 13 luxury homes sold in Newport reached $2.9 million, up from $2.6 million in 2019.

First Quarter momentum was artificially reduced mid-March due to the external impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. While pending sales were flat for the quarter, the first week of April already saw a 45% decrease year over year. Even with this reduction in activity, our real estate professionals have been conducting virtual open houses, taking offers online, negotiating through virtual channels, and of course, conducting fully secure virtual closings. Technology was already a driving force in residential real estate, as most home searches begin online in one way or another; however, the COVID-19 pandemic has exponentially moved that process forward. With Millennials becoming the largest home-buying population, outpacing both their Boomer and Gen-X parents, there is no doubt that technology within our industry is going to continue to evolve rapidly.

For those sellers who opt to delay the process of marketing their home to the public, they should prepare their homes for sale by making it show ready and take advantage of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices exclusive PINNACLE program. This seller concierge platform helps you make updates to your home with no payment due until your home closes. For buyers, we recommend getting pre-approved now in order to have a strong offer when they are ready to move forward with purchasing a home. Looking ahead, we are confident that demand will surge in the coming months, and we will be able to visit homes, negotiate in person, and be physically present at closings. The speed at which consumers can ‘see’ and ‘experience’ residential real estate is ultimately going to result in increased activity.

At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, we offer the unique ability to help buyers and sellers alike with all their homeownership needs both virtually and in-person. As the largest real estate company in the nation, our agents have partnerships with mortgage, insurance, home warranty professionals, and exclusive seller concierge and moving concierge to make the real estate experience a true one-stop-shop for today’s consumer. If you have any questions regarding the material presented in this report or any other real estate questions, please contact your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties sales associate. Our REALTORS® are here to help you navigate the current market with expert knowledge and exceptional service.

I hope you and those around you remain safe & healthy during this time.


Candace Adams, President & CEO