Here's what December's real estate numbers mean for buyers and sellers in RI

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Single-family home sales are down again in December, part of a downward trend that started in September, as mortgages rates continued rising to levels not seen in decades.

New data released by the Rhode Island Association of Realtors shows the number of single-family homes listed, sold, and pending sale, all went down in December, as interest rates continued to remain much higher than the record lows they reached in 2021.

The 634 homes sold in December are a 41% drop compared to the number of closed deals in December 2021.

Bryant Da CruzBryant Da Cruz

Bryant Da Cruz

The median sales price for a house is down a little, $390,000, compared to $411,000 in November. Compared to a year ago, the median sales price is up 4%.

Mortgage interest rates were much lower at the end of 2021, around 3%, compared to the end of 2022, where they were between 6% and 6.5%, double the rate, according to data from the mortgage lender Freddie Mac.

Buying power:$400K is the new median selling price of houses in RI. What does it actually buy?

“I’m not surprised by the numbers,” Rhode Island Association of Realtors President Bryant Da Cruz said. “We are in a market right now where I believe we’re in transition a little bit.”

Da Cruz said the market will likely stabilize soon as inflation continues to decrease, although it will take more houses coming on the market to push down prices.

How far does $400,000 go? In some neighborhoods, like Silver Lake, it can buy a mixed use 2 residential, 1 commercial building that used to be a funeral home with fully functional basement.How far does $400,000 go? In some neighborhoods, like Silver Lake, it can buy a mixed use 2 residential, 1 commercial building that used to be a funeral home with fully functional basement.

How far does $400,000 go? In some neighborhoods, like Silver Lake, it can buy a mixed use 2 residential, 1 commercial building that used to be a funeral home with fully functional basement.

In the past three months, the number of listings has consistently decreased, from 1,468 in October to 1,017 in December.

The market for condos is much the same, with sales slumping to 140 in December, down from 172 in October and 155 in November, while the median selling price for a condo is up slightly, to $336,000, over $330,000 in November.

So what does $400,000, near the median selling price, get you in this market? It depends on location and amenities, but real estate agents said the one of the biggest things they are doing is trying to convince their sellers to lower their prices to match decreased demand and higher mortgage rates.

For a more in-depth look at the current state of the housing market, read our premium story about what $400,000 can buy in this market.

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Reach reporter Wheeler Cowperthwaite at wcowperthwaite@providencejournal.com or follow him on Twitter @WheelerReporter.

This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: Housing and real estate in RI continue downward trend in December