Businessman holding a house in his hands.

Rhode Island Real Estate. How far the dollar went when buying a home, 2021 vs. 2012 – Emilio DiSpirito

By Emilio DiSpirito, Global Real Estate Advisor of Engel & Volkers East Greenwich

It was July 2012 and the real estate market in Rhode Island was at its “bottom” regarding pricing. The market was riddled with distressed properties, meaning short sales, foreclosures, REO’s and auctions! It’s astonishing to think that 26 out of every 100 properties sold in Rhode Island were homeowners who could no longer afford their homes and were underwater.

As we get ready to enter 2022, we see only 1% of properties in Rhode Island as distressed, according to the Rhode Island Multiple Listings Service. Ten years back, that number was 26 times larger than that of today. The best part is, all of the people, in 2012 said, “it’s the worst time to buy!” When prices fall or interest rates are low, it’s probably a great time to purchase any asset. Just ask anyone who sold their homes over the past year that they purchased between 2012 through 2019!

Let’s uncover what type of home you can buy in today’s market vs. a decade ago! This should be fun!

2021/2022 Rhode Island Median Single Family Home:

  • $380,000
  • 3 bed 2 bath
  • 1440 sq ft home
  • Sold at 101% of original list price
  • 23 days on market

2012 Rhode Island Median Single Family Home:

  • $190,000
  • 3 bed 2 bath
  • 1400 sq ft home
  • Sold at 93% of original list price
  • 105 days on market

What’s the difference?

  • Housing prices have doubled!
  • Homes sell 8% higher list price to sales price now vs. then.
  • 82 fewer days on market.

Our data shows that homeowners are sitting on a massive amount of equity at this current moment. Many are afraid that the real estate market is getting too high in price to continue, however the reality of it is, as long as the interest rates stay low, monthly payments stay low and buyers can still afford the payments.

What could change our market? I’m glad you asked! Realistically, with inflation on the rise, meaning the cost to fill your gas tank, heat your home, fill your fridge, hire a service provider, going out to eat or away on trips, etc. you will find that American’s have less disposable income today than they did even a year ago. With “deflated” unemployment numbers, interest rates have a stronger chance of going up. Anytime mortgage rates go up, taxes and costs of goods increase, we have fewer buyers in any given price range. Depending on a variety of factors, the market could go either way. Regardless of what you buy, good times or bad, you want to ensure that you are not overleveraging yourself, in the event you hit a temporary rough patch!


To read more articles in RINewsToday by Emilio, go to:


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Emilio DiSpirito

If you would have asked me what I wanted to be growing up, little Emilio would have told you “an archeologist” or “an architect” despite the fact that at age 8 I had my first lemonade stand, landscaping business and was recording my first “news show” on my boombox!  Well, I never was much good at trigonometry and did could not see myself traveling for months and possibly years at a time, so becoming an architect or archaeologist clearly did not happen!

Fast forward 26 years later and I’m running a team of the finest residential real estate professionals, own a media company and host my very own radio news show about real estate!

For 7 years straight it seemed that I had put in more hours than the day had to give on my real estate business. 7 days a week, 14 to 16 hour days, without a break! Why? My friends and family did not understand the sheer magnitude of moving parts and services we offer to our clients during a transaction! One slip up or one missed call could mean make or break for someone’s dream home or even a lost deposit!

Running a team of like-minded, highly qualified and capable professionals has allowed me to offer a very streamlined, simplified and efficient approach to the sales process for our clients and allowed me to earn personal time again with my family while not missing a beat for my clients!

When I’m not working, I’m with family and friends, riding my mountain bike, eating at local restaurants, enjoying live entertainment, hiking, skiing or reading!