Real Estate Trends

Cape Cod Market Update March 2019

February Review:

February saw the beginning of the Spring market on Cape Cod and the numbers tell an interesting tale.  We notice that average days on market has been steadily increasing while average percent of original price received has been declining.  It seems that buyers in the market are responding to overpriced houses by waiting longer to make offers and ultimately offering less.  We see this time and time again in smaller markets too, take an analysis we did for a client recently: Brewster Single Family sales in 2018. 

I'll explain briefly: 

Blue columns indicate the current price as a % of the original asking price.  In other words, the price that actually attracted a buyer.

Orange columns indicate the sale price as a % of the original price.

The three groups of columns show the houses that sold the fastest selling (left group at less than 25 days), median (middle group), and slowest selling (right group at more than 105 days).

Given all of that, we see houses that sell faster sell for closer to the asking price.  Homes that are on the market for longest are reduced to 94% of the original asking price before they attract a buyer and sell for only 90% of the original asking price. The takeaway is clear: if you price your house too high, it could spend more time on market and receive significantly less than the original asking price - ultimately costing you money.  It is important to work with local real estate experts to be sure you are well informed about how pricing strategies ultimately affect your bottom line.  

Recent Market Summary

  Dec Jan Feb
   Closed Sales 290 229 201
   Inventory 1,614 1,626 1,693
   Median Sales Price $385K $395K $408K
   Avg Days on Market 95 112 130
   Avg % of Original Price 93% 92% 91%


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  1. michael myslinski on

    I enjoy your updates. Thanks, Mike
    • Paul Chatelain on

      Thank you. We are happy to do it
  2. Michael Haidas on

    I too enjoy your updates. Best darn realtors on the Cape.
    • Paul Chatelain on

      Thanks Mike. Your vote of confidence is very much appreciated

Cape Cod Market Update February 2019

January Review: 

  January followed the trend of the last few months of throwing trends out of the window.  The economy recovered much of the ground lost in December but still feels shaky to many investors.  As a result mortgage rates seem to be on uncertain ground as well, though they are still at historic lows hovering in the low 4% range.  The real estate market in Barnstable County is showing some interesting shifts.  Inventory is at 4.8 months, the same as December.  This is atypical for the past three Januarys which all showed a decline in inventory compared to December.  Additionally median sales price is down nearly 3% from this time last year and days on market are up by 7 days.  We are interested to see if increasing inventory and improved affordability will follow.

Recent Market Summary

  Nov Dec Jan
Closed Sales 308 290 229
Inventory 1,968 1,614 1,626
Median Sales Price $435K $385K $395K
Avg Days on Market 100 95 112
Avg % of Original Price 94% 93% 92%


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December Review (in case you missed it)

January Market Update 2019

Hello to all and Happy New Year!  We wish you health and happiness for 2019

December Review: 

   If we had to choose a word for December it would be: schizophrenic.  Between large swings in the stock market, concomitant swings in the mortgage market and an uncertain future of rate hikes, frankly we feel a little addled.  The local housing market however continues to show strength despite these causes for concern.  While inventory was down from November, it is up 4% from this time last year and we are at 4.8 months of inventory, which is 11.6% higher than last year.  In other words we are seeing the trend continue where inventory of homes for sale is being built back up, though slowly.  Otherwise December continued the normal seasonal slump as people spent time with family over the holidays.  We still need a bit of time to finish crunching the numbers from all of 2018 but expect to see a full year analysis in the coming weeks.


Recent Market Summary

  Oct Nov Dec
Closed Sales 378 308 290
Inventory 2,252 1,968 1,614
Median Sales Price $480K $435K $385K
Avg Days on Market 98 100 95
Avg % of Original Price 94% 94% 93%


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Stay up to date on the MA short term rental Tax

MA Short Term Rental Tax

Massachusetts Governor Baker recently signed into law a change to the taxable nature of short term rentals.  This affects many of the property owners on Cape Cod who rent for less than 31 days in the summer months.  Some relevant information can be found on the Massachusetts Association of Realtors website here but a quick synopsis is as follows:


New Tax Changes:

  1. State: 5.7%
  2. Local: up to 6% (6.5 for Boston)
  3. Cape Cod & Islands: includes additional 2.75% to fund Cape Cod and Islands Water Protection Fund 
  4. A community impact fee of up to 3% may be assessed locally on professionally managed properties (Owners of two or more units in one town)
  5. Takes effect July 1, 2019.  Bookings made before January 1st, 2019 are exempt.
  6. Realtors who manage the rental bookings and collect the rent will likely be responsible for collecting the tax.
  7. Guidance and more details will follow from the IRS and state authorities.

We'll be keeping a sharp eye on this matter and updating you when we learn more information.  As always feel free to contact us with questions about how this will impact your rentals or your property management needs.

December Market Update

November Review: 

   After a busier than usual late fall we are starting to see the seasonal cooling off around the holidays.  Closed sales, inventory and median sales price were all down in November as both sellers and buyers tend to back off this time of year.  We also note that with 5.8 months supply of inventory the market is healthier compared to November last year (5.3 months).  The strong economy and hints from the Fed that rate hikes may be slowing down is good news for a healthy local market.  However the low affordability index (meaning the median house price costs more than the median income can afford) continues to be a point of concern.


Recent Market Summary

  Sept Oct Nov
Closed Sales 370 378 308
Inventory 2,291 2,252 1,968
Median Sales Price $437K $480K $435K
Avg Days on Market 89 98 100
Avg % of Original Price 95% 94% 94%


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November Market Update

October Review: 

Median Sales prices continue to climb in both the single family and condominium markets and, as a result, we saw a considerable drop in the affordability index for Barnstable County in October.  The inventory of homes dropped less than 2% since September and the current months of inventory, 6.6, is considered a healthy amount in a residential market.  Additionally average days on market increased and percent of original sales price decreased, indicating a better market for buyers.  The strong economic metrics and assurance the Fed will raise rates coupled with booming jobs reports and increasing wages could mean some changes in the real estate market here in Barnstable County.


Recent Market Summary

  Aug Sept Oct
Closed Sales 358 370 378
Inventory 2,182 2,291 2,252
Median Sales Price $420K $437K $480K
Avg Days on Market 90 89 98
Avg % of Original Price 95% 95% 94%


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October Market Update 2018

September Review:

September saw further gains in inventory with 6.7 months supply of single family homes.  Since September and October generally experience the last of the summer listing frenzy before the winter slump and, with the rising interest rates and other market trends leading towards a more buyer favored market, the growth in inventory may continue into October at least.  Median sales price continues to move upward compared to last year and, as a point of growing regional concern, the affordability index for Barnstable County continues to trend downwards.  

Recent Market Summary

  July Aug. Sept.
Closed Sales 330 358 370
Inventory 2,071 2,182 2,291
Median Sales Price $440K $420K $437K
Avg Days on Market 83 90 89
Avg % of Original Price 96% 95% 95%


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September 2018 Market Update

August Review:  The big news here is that inventory continues to grow.  We currently have 6.4 months of single family home inventory in Barnstable County as well as increasing number of homes for sale (labeled as inventory in the table below).  Generally a market with around 5 and 6 months of inventory is considered healthy so we are relieved to see these numbers up again.  We also tend to see a spike in listings this time of year simply because people are done using their summer homes, but we'll have to wait and see if the trend continues.


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Recent Market Summary

  June July August
Closed Sales 413 330 358
Inventory 1,992 2,071 2,182
Median Sales Price $438K $440K $420K
Avg Days on Market 95 83 90
Avg % of Original Price 95% 96% 95%


Market Update July 2018

June Review: The numbers for June continue the ongoing trends... compared to last year, median sales price of single family homes is up 10%, days on market is down 20% but inventory is even for the first time since 2009.  Additionally, when we look at the first 6 months of 2018, months supply of inventory is up 40% from January, which may indicate gains in inventory coming over the next few months.  Sellers were still favored in the June market but with months supply of inventory at 5.9, we could be at an inflection point.


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Recent Market Summary

  April May June
Closed Sales 329 399 413
Inventory 1,755 1,924 1,992
Median Sales Price $399,000 $429,000 $438,320
Avg Days on Market 108 114 95
Avg % of Original Price 96% 95% 95%



Market Update June 2018

May Review: Last month was characterized by the Spring market frenzy.  While 399 closed single family homes may not seem like much of a frenzy, compared to the January-April dearth, it was.  Overall though, sales and inventory are down compared to this time last year, which we believe says more about the unusually busy 2017 market leaving us with lower inventory to start 2018.  Conditions still favor sellers and buyers are encouraged to have strong offers (excellent financing and few contingencies) placed early to be considered.  We are encouraged to see an increase in new listings which is helping to rebuild the inventory here in Barnstable County.  Experts are also considering the idea that the current market conditions (higher prices and fewer days on market) are more sustainable than originally expected due to improved lending practices to more qualified borrowers.

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Recent Market Summary

  March April May
Closed Sales 255 329 399
Inventory 1,584 1,755 1,924
Median Sales Price $415,000 $399,000 $429,000
Avg Days on Market 137 108 114
Avg % of Original Price 95% 96% 95%