EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Buying a home in Rhode Island continues to be an extremely competitive and expensive process, according to the R.I. Association of Realtors.

The median sales price for single-family homes currently sits at $430,000, which is 2.4% higher than it was this time last year. The number of single-family homes sold also dropped by 20.1% in the same timeframe.

“On the one hand, it’s safe to say that the majority of homeowners have seen a significant increase in home equity in recent years,” R.I. Association of Realtors President Bryant Da Cruz said. “But on the other hand, that accumulation of wealth is hard to attain for those struggling to buy a home in this competitive market.”

“Rising mortgage rates have pushed some prospective buyers out of the market due to affordability issues and inventory has tightened further by homeowners unwilling to give up current mortgages that have lower interest rates,” he continued.

When comparing pre-pandemic data, residential home sales have seen a five-year gain in median sales price. The current median sales price for single-family homes is 47.3% higher than it was back in 2019.

Da Cruz said out-of-state buyers have further depleted Rhode Island’s supply, which has made it hard to keep up with the demand.

Buyers from other states have accounted for 26.7% of recent sales in Rhode Island, which is down slightly from this time last year. Data indicates that Massachusetts residents have purchased the most homes in Rhode Island, followed by Connecticut and New York respectively.

“Though home price appreciation has slowed, bidding wars continue and most properties are still selling above list price because the supply is so constrained,” Da Cruz said. “If homeowners are thinking about moving, they’ll likely see impressive profits when they sell.”

“While mortgage rates are now near the 30-year average instead of the historic lows we saw recently, many economists expect them to drop next year so refinancing could be a strong possibility,” he added.