Out-of-state home buyers flock to Rhode Island amid pandemic

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – The Rhode Island real estate market is hot right now—with hundreds of buyers flooding in from out-of-state, because of the COVID pandemic.


“I just feel like it’s just crazy here in New York. I feel like we got hit really hard with it and, you know, the cases are rising,” Mistala Marzini, a buyer from New York, said.


Marzini has been looking for a house in Rhode Island since June. 


“I see one online and, it’s like, before I even make the phone call it’s got five other offers or multiple offers over asking price,” Marzini said.


That’s because there is an exodus from The Empire State to The Ocean State.


“The sellers on all these houses we were looking at, they were like, ‘the other buyer was a New Yorker, oh, the other buyer was from New York,’ and I’m like ‘I’m losing the house to a New Yorker?’” Marzini said with a laugh.


Marzini’s realtor, Tony Verdi with Coldwell Banker, said he has been getting calls weekly since the pandemic started this past winter, from buyers now working remote, and looking to leave more populated areas in New York and Massachusetts.


“The Rhode Island Association of Realtors just put out a report for the second quarter of 2020, where about 400 people, 400 buyers from Massachusetts and New York, came into Rhode Island,” Verdi said.


He said the median sale price for a house in Rhode Island jumped almost 13 percent from this time last year.


“We’re seeing record-breaking sales prices. The median sales price of the homes in Rhode Island is about $340,000 now and that goes up monthly,” Verdi said.


Verdi said, of course, that is great for people selling their homes, but not so great for everyone, like Marzini, trying to buy a home.


“The problem is there’s not a lot of inventory in Rhode Island. So, when something does come on the market, we’re faced with multiple offers and a lot of competition,” Verdi said.


So, Verdi said, it is basically a just a waiting game, while he helps his clients, like Marzini, find their perfect home.


“Now that everyone is kind of moving to Rhode Island, it’s funny that was less populated. But, now the smallest state I feel like is going to be the most populated, because everyone is going there,” Marzini said.

Categories: News, Rhode Island