Cape Cod News

Surviving and thriving during COVID lock-down: Part 1

We hope this finds you all hale and hearty in these trying times!  We are thankful to still be open for business and meeting the real estate needs of our clients, for a little more detail on how we are managing this please see our previous blog here.  Today we wanted to share the first of a few ideas for how to improve your home to add value (since you may have spare time these days), whether you are thinking of selling this year or in the future.

Quality of Life and Aesthetic Improvements

BeforeWAftere always recommend that you undertake upgrades that will make you enjoy your home more!  If you can afford it, don't wait 20 years to replace a bathroom you hate, improve and enjoy it now while you are living in your home.  Some sellers stress about doing these improvements just before selling and often don't reap monetary benefits as a results (see our blog about recouping investment on upgrades here).  You can even undertake very inexpensive projects that improve the overall look and livability of your home that - while mostly intended for you - also make your home more appealing when selling.  See the after and before photos (before has the mess of wires on the right) of a quick organization of home electronics.  This makes your home more livable for you and, by being tidy and neat, can improve buyers' first impressions.  A visibly clean and orderly home with very few 'punch-list' items implies that the owners are taking care of larger, invisible maintenance items -- this can have significant positive impacts by attracting higher and earlier offers when selling

If you are considering listing your home, please give us a call to put two generations of tradition and three decades of experience in your pocket.  For some more tips for homeowners check out our blogs tagged here.

 

2019 Cape Cod Real Estate Market Recap

Are you interested in the health of the Cape Cod real estate market?  How it compares to Massachusetts' real estate trends? We have had some time to review the market data from 2019 and have some interesting findings to report.  We'll take a few key points and break them down 

Inventory: What is "month's supply" and who cares?

Month's supply of inventory is a way of describing how much property is currently salable in the market.  It tells us that, if no homes were added to the market, how long it would take for all 'for sale' properties to be sold.  It is based on how quickly homes have been selling over the past few months and how many homes are currently for sale.  When it comes to inventory, 2019 saw a decline and was down nearly 20% from 2018 (see the graphic at right from the Cape Cod and Islands Association of Realtors).  This has been the overall trend since 2015 when months supply of inventory was at 7.9, at 2019 year end it was 4.0.  Who cares?  With inventory so low the market favors sellers.  Generally between 5 and 6 month's of inventory is considered a healthy and sustainable amount.  4 is heavily in seller favored territory and means that buyers may compete against multiple offer scenarios or have difficulty seeing a home before an accepted offer takes it off the market.  The lesson for buyers is be prepared! Contact one of our local agents to see what this looks like.

 

 

Median Sales Price: Why does it keep going up?

2019 median sales price in Barnstable County rose 2.5% to $410,000.  Median price in 2015 was $350,000 and has been steadily increasing since then with the steepest gain in 2018.  Something to note however is that not all markets on the Cape are experiencing an increase in this metric while others are far outpacing the larger area. The question as to why median price continues to increase is multifaceted.  Since 2015, the larger economy has seen cumulative inflation about 8.5%.  The Cape Cod real estate market has seen cumulative median price increase of 17% in this same time leaving us with 9.5% to account for.  Supply and demand plays a significant role in the Cape economy and with inventory decreasing since 2015 and demand remaining high, this places upward pressure on the price of homes.  Additionally with construction costs also quite high new homes are not being built which contributes to the lack of inventory.  Also in order for builders to make a profit, new homes are being built at ever higher price points driving the market up even more.  

Statewide and Larger Trends: Cape in Context

Massachusetts as a whole is also suffering from historically low inventory and increasing median sales prices as well.  According to the Massachusetts Association of Realtors (MAR), even with the rising cost of homes, Massachusetts first-time home buyers comprise 45% of home buyers, way above the national average of 33% of home buyers. This is good news as it indicates the State is a desirable place to live. MAR states that the increasing complexity of buying homes, has 93% of buyers using a real estate agent to assist in the process of buying as opposed to purchasing directly from a builder or owner (for the entire press release, see here). This trend has increased through this decade. Additionally, the historically low interest rates throughout much of 2019 (3.375% at the time of writing), coupled with the 88% of buyers financing their homes, highlights the strength of this real estate market for sellers and buyers.  

As always, to discuss the larger market trends or find out about buying or selling in your market, contact one of our agents today.  

Cape Cod Market Update December 2019

November Review:

 The seasonal slowdown was in full swing in November.  When considering the past three months (Sept-Nov) we see a normal decline in Median Sales Price as well as Inventory.  We also see the related increase in Average Days on Market since buyers and sellers are now caught up in the holiday season and some homes take a bit longer to find a buyer.

  When comparing year-over-year single family homes we are seeing closed sales, inventory and new listings all down by more that 10% compared to this time last year.  National economic trends are generally strong and mortgage rates at local banks are hovering around 3.75%.

  If you are considering getting your home ready for the Spring market, now is the time to spruce things up a bit.  Check out our advise for 5 Things to do Before Listing as well as our insights into investing in home improvements before you sellContact us today with any questions, we are always glad to help.

For more market data check out our blog category Real Estate Trends.

Recent Market Summary

    Sept     Oct     Nov  
    Closed Sales    339     379     334  
   Inventory     2,090     1,975     1,700  
   Median Sales Price   $452K     $440K     $439K  
   Avg Days on Market    98     103     109  
   Avg % of Original Price    94%     94%     93%  

 

Cape Cod Vacation Rentals Update Fall 2019

Vacation rentals on Cape Cod have been undergoing significant changes in the past 9 months.  Here is a quick update on the recent developments.  For more information we encourage you to visit the Massachusetts website of FAQs here 

What is a short-term rental?

According to the Commonwealth, "A short-term rental is an occupied property that is not a hotel, motel, lodging house or bed and breakfast establishment, where at least 1 room or unit is rented out by an operator through the use of advance reservations. A short-term rental includes an apartment, house, cottage, and condominium. It does not include property that is rented out through tenancies at will or month-to-month leases. It also does not include time-share property. A short-term rental is a rental that is not for more than 31 consecutive calendar days. The new law imposes state and local excises on short-term rentals of property for more than 14 days in a calendar year, starting July 1, 2019 for which a rental contract was entered into on or after January 1, 2019.  "

Taxes can be as much as 17.45%

All municipalities in the Commonwealth are subject to the 5.7% room occupancy tax.

Towns can choose to impose two additional taxes.  First is the local excise tax which can be anywhere from 0 to 6%.  Second is a Community Impact fee which can be anywhere from 0 to 3%.  Check the database here for your town or see below for all 15 Cape Towns.  Additionally the Cape Cod and Islands Water Protection Fund excise is 2.75% (currently no town on Nantucket or the Vineyard are subject to this).

Owner Requirements

Owners are now obligated to carry $1 million in liability insurance on each property.  Each property must be registered BY THE OWNER through MASS tax connect and tax must be remitted by the 20th of each month for the previous month's stays.  A full list of owner requirements is listed here.

What's being considered for the future?

As of right now (11/7/2019) Community Impact Fees have not been implemented in any Cape Cod Towns. However it behooves owners to read the First and Second Local Options of this FAQ from the State.  In these instances towns can add up to 3% Community Impact Fees if units are professionally managed.  If a tax of 17.45% sounds unreasonable, please consider speaking with your local representative to share your opinion.

Municipality Current Rooms Tax Rate Current Rooms Tax Effective Date Pending Rooms Tax Rate Pending Rooms Tax Effective Date Short-term Rental Community Impact Fee Rate Short-term Rental Community Impact Fee Effective Date Short-term Rental Professionaly Managed Option Short-term Rental included within 2-3 Family Home Cape & Islands Water Protection Fund Tax Rate Cape & Islands Water Protection Fund Effective Date
Barnstable 0.06 10/1/2010             0.0275 7/1/2019
Bourne 0.06 7/1/2019             0.0275 7/1/2019
Brewster 0.06 7/1/2010             0.0275 7/1/2019
Chatham 0.04 7/1/1988             0.0275 7/1/2019
Dennis 0.06 1/1/2020             0.0275 7/1/2019
Eastham 0.04 1/1/1987             0.0275 7/1/2019
Falmouth 0.05 1/1/2020             0.0275 7/1/2019
Harwich 0.04 1/1/1987             0.0275 7/1/2019
Mashpee 0.06 10/1/2019             0.0275 7/1/2019
Orleans 0.06 7/1/2019             0.0275 7/1/2019
Provincetown 0.06 7/1/2010             0.0275 7/1/2019
Sandwich 0.04 7/1/1986             0.0275 7/1/2019
Truro 0.04 12/1/1985             0.0275 7/1/2019
Wellfleet 0.04 7/1/1986             0.0275 7/1/2019
Yarmouth 0.06 7/1/2010             0.0275 7/1/2019

 

Curious about finding a rental management partner in Chatelain Real Estate, contact us today. 

Take a look at what is for sale throughout Cape Cod here

Looking for a vacation rental on Cape Cod, click here?

 

Cape Cod Market Update October 2019

September Review:

  The fall market is looking lackluster now that the September numbers are in.  With new listings, closings, and inventory down we did not see as significant an amount of activity in the market as this time last year.  With inventory countywide at a 6 month month level,  neither buyers nor sellers see a great advantage currently.  Not all markets are seeing this balance though so don't hesitate to check in if you are curious about a certain subset of the market (i.e. towns or price ranges).  Additionally, the lack of new listings may lead to a further drop in supply of inventory but fewer buyers in the market may not result in much change going into the usually slower holiday season.  Nationally a strong economy and low mortgage rates are helping to keep the real estate market active.

For more market data check out our blog category Real Estate Trends.

Recent Market Summary

    July     Aug     Sept  
    Closed Sales    341     382     339  
   Inventory     2,044     2,082     2,090  
   Median Sales Price   $435K     $431K     $452K  
   Avg Days on Market    101     90     98  
   Avg % of Original Price    94%     94%     94%  

 

Check out these two blogs for more valuable insight into real estate on Cape Cod

 

  5 Things to do before listing your home  

    Shellfish Season is Here!  

      
   

Cape Cod Open Houses Weekend 8/24-8/25 2019

Check out these open houses on Cape Cod this weekend.  If you are interested in any of these homes or to learn more about any other homes for sale on the Cape, contact us today.  Chatelain Real Estate agents are known for the excellent quality of service and professionalism they offer their clients and would love to help you find your dream home on Cape Cod.

 

Saturday 10-12 | 15 Ocean Avenue, Harwich Port

This is an unbeatable sought-after location that features charming cottages, which share a love for summer fun. Nantucket Sound is merely 140 paces away and Harwich Port village center is less than a quarter mile for fine dining, shopping, art galleries, and more. This home an arts and crafts style bungalow renovated in 2013, combines historic features, such as built-ins, charming decorative arched fireplace, carved brick mantle and dark wooden beams with modern bathrooms, kitchen, and infrastructure upgrades. The ocean is viewable from both up and downstairs porches and the master bedroom. It is a larger home with adequate room for large gatherings. Long standing solid rental history is available. The newly upgraded septic system makes this ready to go.

 

Saturday 10-12 | 61 Cranberry Lane, South Yarmouth *First Look*

So new to market it isn't even listed in MLS yet!  Get a first look on Saturday!

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday 1-3 | 109 Nottingham Drive, Yarmouth Port

Bring your personal touches and enjoy one of the most sought after Yarmouth Port locations. This exceptionally spacious home offers one floor living and plenty of room for guests. The setting is private but not remote. The living room opens to the deck and has a fireplace. The kitchen and breakfast nook next to the formal dining room allow for easy entertaining. The den/home office is set apart for quiet use. The first floor master bedroom with en suite bath opens to the deck for morning coffee. The other two bedrooms each have sitting areas. The home is nicely sited on the lot. An opportunity not to be missed.

 

Cape Cod Market Update August 2019

July Review:

   Compared to this time last year, July saw only slight variation in four of the six metrics we investigate for this blog (pictured at right).  Days on market was up significantly compared to this time last year; however it was down compared to June.  Additionally the number of new listings was down nearly 15% compared to last year and lost about 9% compared to June this year.  With all of this in mind we are seeing a normal decline in market activity due to the seasonality of our area.  Nationally, mortgage interest rates are exceptionally low yet affordability continues to be a serious concern.

 

 

Recent Market Summary

  May June   July  
    Closed Sales   441  361   341  
   Inventory    2,032  2,067   2,044  
   Median Sales Price   $427K     $450K     $435K  
   Avg Days on Market   101  106   101  
   Avg % of Original Price   95%  95%   94%  

 

Check out these two blogs for more valuable insight into real estate on Cape Cod

 

   Our Take: Are sharks really taking a bite out of the Cod Cod Summer Rental Market?

    Owning a Septic System on Cape Cod

      

Cape Cod Tornado - Storm Resources 2019

Gilbert Road in Dennis PortWell.  A tornado on Cape Cod is certainly not something we ever seriously considered.  We are glad first and most importantly that there appear to be no serious injuries or deaths as a result of the storm.  To make things easier, here is a list of resources that you can check for information regarding the storm repairs.  Finally a heartfelt thank you to all of the first responders, linemen, and landscapers working overtime to get everything cleaned up.

Last updated 7/24/19 10:15am

Emergencies - 911

Barnstable County Emergency Shelter Locations Map

Eversource (Electricity)

   Report an outage

   Outage Map

Most Affected Towns - for all list of all towns click here

    Town of Barnstable

    Town of Yarmouth

    Town of Dennis

    Town of Harwich - Heavy damage, critical updates here

    Town of Chatham

News

   NPR WCAI Radio 94.3

   WXTK News Radio 95.1

   Cape Cod Times

Cape Cod Open Houses Weekend 7/27-7/28 2019

Check out these open houses on Cape Cod this weekend.  If you are interested in any of these homes or to learn more about any other homes for sale on the Cape, contact us today.  Chatelain Real Estate agents are known for the excellent quality of service and professionalism they offer their clients and would love to help you find your dream home on Cape Cod.

 

Saturday 10-12 | 15 Ocean Avenue, Harwich Port

This is an unbeatable sought-after location that features charming cottages, which share a love for summer fun. Nantucket Sound is merely 140 paces away and Harwich Port village center is less than a quarter mile for fine dining, shopping, art galleries, and more. This home an arts and crafts style bungalow renovated in 2013, combines historic features, such as built-ins, charming decorative arched fireplace, carved brick mantle and dark wooden beams with modern bathrooms, kitchen, and infrastructure upgrades. The ocean is viewable from both up and downstairs porches and the master bedroom. It is a larger home with adequate room for large gatherings. Long standing solid rental history is available. The newly upgraded septic system makes this ready to go.

 

Saturday 10-12 | 88 Pleasant Bay Road, Harwich

One floor living at its best. Delightful home centrally located. It features warm wood accents, an open floor plan, beamed vaulted ceiling, central AC, and sparkling hardwood floors throughout. The master bedroom with private bath has direct access through large slider to the deck. This home is nestled on a private acre of land just down from Wequasett and Pleasant Bay Beach for water recreation. Near Chatham for shopping and restaurants. Groceries, post office and all life needs near by. A beautiful home to own and enjoy all aspects of the Cape with expansion possibilities.

 

Saturday 1-3 | 109 Nottingham Drive, Yarmouth Port

Bring your personal touches and enjoy one of the most sought after Yarmouth Port locations. This exceptionally spacious home offers one floor living and plenty of room for guests. The setting is private but not remote. The living room opens to the deck and has a fireplace. The kitchen and breakfast nook next to the formal dining room allow for easy entertaining. The den/home office is set apart for quiet use. The first floor master bedroom with en suite bath opens to the deck for morning coffee. The other two bedrooms each have sitting areas. The home is nicely sited on the lot. An opportunity not to be missed.

Cape Cod Market Update July 2019

June Review:

Compared to this time last year median price and inventory are both up.  However Inventory compared to May is a small gain of only 25 homes.  It looks like the market entered the summer slow-down a bit earlier this year (usually it hits in July) with closed sales and new listings both down in June.  Apparently sellers were already getting ready for the beach last month.  The ever growing point of concern, not only on the Cape but nationally as well, is the affordability and availability of homes.  The Realtor professional publication states that the inventory shortage has reached 2.5 million homes.  Through normal economic interactions, such a severe deficit in available housing will continue to drive prices up as well as affect the rental markets (see California and New York's new rent control regulations).   The Realtor article features a few solutions and while none are new they will all be important to relieving the housing shortage.  Read more about ADUs, Opportunity Zones and more here.

 

Recent Market Summary

  Apr May June
    Closed Sales   331   441  361
   Inventory    1,982   2,032  2,067
   Median Sales Price   $425K     $427K   $450K
   Avg Days on Market   120   101  106
   Avg % of Original Price   94%   95%  95%

 

   Fun things to do this summer

    Top 5 Dog Walks on Cape Cod