Buying On Cape Cod

Cape Cod Market Update December 2020

November Review: Nov Market update

  While 2020 is remarkable with exceptionally high median sales prices and low inventory, it is beginning to see the usual winter slow down - although this slow down still outpaces anything we have seen in the past.  Median sales price in Barnstable county continues to climb and is up 33% from this time last year.  Additionally, the months supply of single family homes is 1.7, which is a substantially lower than the 5-6 months in a healthy, slightly seller favored, market. As we drill down even more, there are only 0.6 months supply of single family homes priced from $297k - $419k (that is only 57 total homes for sale in this price range in all of Barnstable County).  These factors continue to depress the affordability of homes on Cape Cod which is something that will have broader implications in the future local economy. If you are considering selling your home, now is a great time to do so.  Even with the seasonal slowdown commencing, buyer appetite for homes on Cape Cod remains unsated and we expect the low inventory and exceptionally low mortgage rates to continue driving higher sale prices

 Stay healthy and safe everyone!  Contact us today, we are always glad to discuss the market in further detail if you have questions. For more market data check out our blog category Real Estate Trends.

 

 

 

Recent Market Summary

    Sept     Oct     Nov  
    Closed Sales    559     564     457  
   Inventory     921     808     724  
   Median Sales Price   $550k     $550k     $585k  
   Avg Days on Market    97     84     63  
   Avg % of Original Price    97%     98%     98%  

Cape Cod Market Update November 2020

October Review: Oct Market update

  The Cape Cod real estate market continues its unprecedented year.  Most remarkably is that median sales price remains at $550,000, up 25% from this time last year.  What is driving this increase?  Demand.  Both closed sales and pending sales are up more than 40% from this time last year and inventory is incredibly low, at just under 2 months of inventory.  Stay healthy and safe everyone!  Contact us today, we are always glad to discuss the market in further detail if you have questions. For more market data check out our blog category Real Estate Trends.

 

 

 

Recent Market Summary

    Aug     Sept     Oct  
    Closed Sales    509     559     564  
   Inventory     1,019     921     808  
   Median Sales Price   $545k     $550k     $550k  
   Avg Days on Market    99     97     84  
   Avg % of Original Price    96%     97%     98%  

Realtor Case file #57 – why local relationships matter

Whether you are buying, selling, or renting your home, one of the most important decisions you will make is who will represent your interests during the transaction. Those representatives should always be experienced local professionals with strong relationships in the community. I recently closed a transaction that perfectly illustrated just how important those relationships may end up being. Take a look:

Three days before closing on a seller client’s home the buyer’s attorney discovered two title issues which were going to prevent us from closing: an undischarged mortgage and an outstanding right of first refusal from the original developer. Title issues are always trouble but this was particularly troubling because my sellers were using the funds from their sale to purchase another home on the same day – a delay on the sale would cause serious complications for everyone involved. But my clients had done the right thing – they had carefully selected a team of experience professionals with strong connections in their respective professional communities. Here’s what happened:

We were in a rush so the attorney asked me (as the seller’s agent) to work on the right of first refusal while she and the sellers dug in on the mortgage. Because of my local knowledge, I happened to know who the developer was, and that he had retired and sold his business about 15 years ago. I also happened to know who he sold the business to, and have a working relationship with that person. So I called him up and got the contact info for his predecessor. I then spoke with the developer who sent me to his attorney here in Yarmouth. I called the attorney, with whom I have closed dozens of deals and asked for a favor. That afternoon the document was prepared and signed. First problem solved.

But what about the second problem? The mortgage on the home had been paid off for 10 years, but the bank never recorded the discharge. [Editor’s note: this happens ALL THE TIME. Always call your bank to make sure they recorded the discharge after your last payment to avoid this issue yourself]. The mortgage was, sadly, with a large national bank, so my sellers’ tearful trip to the branch was useless. So they regrouped and, on a lark, called their financial advisor. At dinner time on a weeknight. He picked right up. They explained the situation and he said, “You know what, I know someone who works in the mortgage department at that bank’s headquarters. Let me reach out to him.” By noon the next day they had satisfactory documentation of the discharged mortgage in hand, thanks to their finance guy’s local relationship within the bank.

We sent the completed file to the buyer’s attorney, the transaction closed as scheduled on Friday, my clients bought their new house that afternoon, and everyone walked away happy. Disaster averted.

So what was the trick? Local relationships. My clients had carefully selected a team of local experts and it paid off big time. Think about it like this – what if their Realtor hadn’t been local? Would the seller’s attorney have known and trusted him to solve part of the problem, or would she have had to extend the closing date to give her time to do it herself? Would the agent have known immediately who to call to track down the long-since retired out of state developer? Would the developer’s attorney have been willing to do the agent a favor by rushing the file? What if their financial advisor had been a nameless associate at a large firm who they couldn’t reach after hours? Or who didn’t have personal local relationships within the industry? Would they have still closed on time? Maybe. Maybe they would have gotten lucky. But why leave it to chance? Real Estate is a team sport – when you assemble your team, make sure to pick local professionals who have the experience and relationships in their industries to give you the best representation possible.

Four ways to pay off your mortgage early

Every few years it is worth evaluating the costs and benefits of paying off your mortgage early.  We'll discuss four scenarios with a home purchased for $450,000, 20% down and 2.75% interest on a 30 year fixed rate mortgage. For the purposes of this exercise we will be calculating principal and interest payments and not including mortgage insurance or escrow payments for taxes and insurance. To see our math you can refer to the embedded Mortgage Payment Calculator at the end of the blog.  Each scenario has a tab at the bottom so you can switch back and forth for comparisons. Let's proceed.

Standard Payment:

In this scenario you pay your mortgage just as it appears on your bill.  Over the course of 360 months (30 years) your entire mortgage is paid off.

Maximum Principal and Interest (P&I) payment: $1,469.67

Payoff time: 30 years

Total Interest Paid: $169,080.57

Scenario 1: Double your monthly principal payment

In this situation you simply mail your mortgage payment with twice the amount of the principal payment.  In our hypothetical, the first payment would therefore include $644.67 more than the standard $1,469.67, or $2,114.34.  This amount would slowly increase each month as your principal payment increases.

Max P&I Payment:  $2,931.26

Payoff time: 15.1 years

Total Interest Paid: $84,843.26

Scenario 2: Add an extra $500 to each principal payment

Here you simply pay $500 more to pay down your principal each month.  

Max P&I Payment:  $1,969.67

Payoff time: 19.8 years

Total Interest Paid: $107,023.83

Scenario 3: Annual bulk payment of $10,000 to your principal

Imagine that you save up all year and pay down a large chunk of the principal in December, we hypothesize $10k.

Max P&I Payment:  $11,469.67 ($1,469.67 max standard month)

Payoff time: 16.4

Total Interest Paid: $88,772.70

Scenario 4: Double principal and $20k annual payment

This situation may not be feasible for many people, but we included it to illustrate a point.  Here we combined strategy #2 and #3 but increased the annual payment to $20k. Using this strategy the payoff time can be brought down to just over 8 years with only about $46k in total interest

Max P&I Payment:  $22,865.24 ($2,930.77 max standard month)

Payoff time: 8.3

Total Interest Paid: $45,906.64

Synopsis: Which is best for me?

There is no one correct solution here. Each homeowner has a different financial situation, and these may change over time anyway.  Consider simply that paying down your principal results in fewer payments and less interest charged overall, but there is a reason that a standard mortgage is paid over 30 years.

 

As always contact us to discuss what buying or selling looks like in today's market.

 

 

Bottom

Cape Cod Market Update October 2020

September Review: Aug Market update

 The Cape Cod real estate market continues its foray into uncharted waters.  September saw the highest single family median sales price ever recorded in Barnstable County at $550,000. Additionally inventory remains incredibly low with only 921 homes available cape-wide.  These two factors are putting incredible pressure on buyers by resulting in multiple offer scenarios and many homes being sold for over asking price, indicating the desperation for housing on Cape Cod.  While this market seems good for sellers in the short term, an unsustainable housing market on the Cape is not good for anyone, even sellers. Stay healthy and safe everyone!  Contact us today, we are always glad to discuss the market in further detail if you have questions. For more market data check out our blog category Real Estate Trends.

Recent Market Summary

    July     Aug     Sept  
    Closed Sales    582     509     559  
   Inventory     1,128     1,019     921  
   Median Sales Price   $499k     $545k     $550k  
   Avg Days on Market    106     99     97  
   Avg % of Original Price    95%     96%     97%  

Cape Cod Market Update September 2020

August Review: Aug Market update

  We are in an unprecedented market on Cape Cod folks.  Sellers are heavily favored in the current clime as we are seeing multiple offers over asking price on many properties, a norm previously only seen in super-hot markets like Boston, San Francisco and other booming urban areas.  Inventory is down 51% from August last year and the lack of inventory is driving up median sales price (up 27% from last year).  Despite the lack of inventory, both pending sales and closed sales are up significantly as well, 71% and 31% respectively, indicating an incredible demand for single family homes on Cape Cod.  What do we expect for the fall? Who knows? We are in uncharted waters here. What we do know is that, if you are thinking of selling, now is an excellent time.  If you are thinking of buying, while the market may seem outrageous there are still good values out there so don't get discouraged. Stay healthy and safe everyone!  Contact us today, we are always glad to discuss the market in further detail if you have questions. For more market data check out our blog category Real Estate Trends.

Recent Market Summary

    June     July     Aug  
    Closed Sales    419     582     509  
   Inventory     1,296     1,128     1,019  
   Median Sales Price   $475k     $499k     $545k  
   Avg Days on Market    108     106     99  
   Avg % of Original Price    95%     95%     96%  

Cape Cod Market Update August 2020

July Review: July Market update

July, like June, saw a significant uptick in real estate activity on Cape Cod. Presumably buyers are seeing the benefits of the Cape lifestyle and, through demand, creating an exceptionally hot market. Closed sales and pending sales are both up significantly from this time last year leading to the dearth of inventory that is still driving the market (as well as driving increasing prices). This is a heavily favored seller's market with only 3.1 months of inventory available across the county (less in certain markets) and properties seeing multiple offers and going under contract quickly. This trend follows the larger national trend of more interest in suburban, exurban and rural areas than cities. If you are looking for a getaway from the craziness in your area, we do still have a few weeks available in late August and September at our seasonal vacation rentals. Stay healthy and safe everyone!

Contact us today, we are always glad to discuss the market in further detail if you have questions. For more market data check out our blog category Real Estate Trends.

Recent Market Summary

    May     June     July  
    Closed Sales    239     419     582  
   Inventory     1,479     1,296     1,128  
   Median Sales Price   $455K     $475k     $499k  
   Avg Days on Market    102     108     106  
   Avg % of Original Price    95%     95%     95%  

Cape Cod Market Update July 2020

June Review:

June led to some interesting market outcomes. Obviously much of the real estate market, and society, continues to be influenced by the reality of COVID-19. This has, however, impacted the Cape Cod market in an unusual way. According to the NAR Market Recovery Survey, 60% of urban markets are paused or slowly entering recovery. This is not what we are experiencing here on the Cape. June saw a 76% increase from 2019 in pending sales (sales that have signed contracts but are not yet completed). This is, frankly, incredible. Obviously after nearly 3 months in phase 1 of reopening, and historically low interest rates, the pent-up demand from buyers came to a head in June. Cape Cod continues to provide a lifestyle many people find appealing and June demonstrated this like we have never seen before. While buyer demand is way up, we continue to experience a dearth of available housing, indicated by inventory down nearly 40% from this time last year. July sales are usually a bit slower as people settle into the summer season but, frankly, we don't see it happening this year folks.  However, if you are looking for a getaway from the craziness in your area, we do still have a few weeks available in August at our seasonal vacation rentals. Stay healthy and safe everyone!

Contact us today, we are always glad to discuss the market in further detail if you have questions. For more market data check out our blog category Real Estate Trends.

Recent Market Summary

    Apr     May     June  
    Closed Sales    264     239     419  
   Inventory     1,455     1,479     1,296  
   Median Sales Price   $440K     $455K     $475k  
   Avg Days on Market    116     102     108  
   Avg % of Original Price    95%     95%     95%  

Cape Cod Market Update June 2020

May Review:

  The May market felt continued pressure from COVID-19 resulting in uncharacteristically low new listings, closings and inventory. With so much pressure on the supply side, median sales price increased 6.4% from this time last year. Fortunately, Governor Baker's transition into phase 2 of reopening on June 8th has made both sellers and buyers more comfortable with the transaction process so we expect to see activity pick back up in the market (in fact we have already seen activity start to increase). While June 2020 likely won't be as busy as June 2019, we expect to see positive trends towards a more normal market continue. Additionally, short-term seasonal vacation rentals are now open with some restrictions as well as increased cleaning requirements and, with restaurants starting to open with limited capacity/outdoor seating, the Cape is on its way to a subdued but wonderful summer. Stay healthy and safe everyone!

Contact us today, we are always glad to discuss the market in further detail if you have questions. For more market data check out our blog category Real Estate Trends.

Recent Market Summary

    Mar     Apr     May  
    Closed Sales    326     264     239  
   Inventory     1,471     1,455     1,479  
   Median Sales Price   $441K     $440K     $455K  
   Avg Days on Market    124     116     102  
   Avg % of Original Price    94%     95%     95%  

Cape Cod Market Update May 2020

April Review:

  April certainly was a little unusual. When the Spring market should have been in full swing much came to a grinding halt instead. Closed sales were down 22% from April 2019 and saw a decrease from March 2020, which is unusual as well. We expect the trend of low sales to continue into May since the lagging indicator of number of pending homes (those that are under contract) was down 43% from April 2019.  Inventory was also low in April and was down nearly 60% from 2019, and was nearly flat from March, again an unusual thing to see when the Spring market should be taking off.

  Are we concerned? Well, not exactly.  While we do expect the overall trend of low home sales and inventory to continue for another month or two, depending on the timing of Governor Baker's 4 phase reopening plan, there are good things too.  First, we are open for business and doing business (see the blog from our agent, Amanda Bebrin, regarding what buying looks like with social distancing in place). If you need to buy or sell, we can, and are, getting it done. In the short-term there is pent up demand for homes and many sellers are waiting to list or have removed their homes from the market, so we expect a boom as more restrictions are eased. Second, mortgage rates are at near historic lows and if you are buying, now is a good time for financing. Third, short-term seasonal vacation rentals are open to essential workers and we look forward to having them open fully in phase 2, which may be as soon as June 8th. Finally, after working from home since March, we are eager to reopen the office to regular visitors and hours, following the outlined guidance from the Commonwealth. All of these things indicate that life will, soon, be getting back to normal. Stay healthy and safe everyone!

Contact us today, we are always glad to discuss the market in further detail if you have questions. For more market data check out our blog category Real Estate Trends.

Recent Market Summary

    Feb     Mar     Apr  
    Closed Sales    324     326     264  
   Inventory     1,426     1,471     1,455  
   Median Sales Price   $435K     $441K     $440K  
   Avg Days on Market    120     124     116  
   Avg % of Original Price    93%     94%     95%