Monthly Archives: June 2020

New Index Reveals Impact of COVID-19 on Real Estate

New Index Reveals Impact of COVID-19 on Real Estate | MyKCM

Earlier this month, realtor.com released their initial Housing Recovery Index, a weekly guide showing how the pandemic has impacted the residential real estate market. The index leverages a weighted average of four key components of the housing industry, tracking each of the following:

  1. Housing Demand – Growth in online search activity
  2. Home Price – Growth in asking prices
  3. Housing Supply – Growth of new listings
  4. Pace of Sales – Difference in time-on-market

The index then compares the current status “to the last week of January 2020 market trend, as a baseline for pre-COVID market growth. The overall index is set to 100 in this baseline period. The higher a market’s index value, the higher its recovery and vice versa.”

New Index Reveals Impact of COVID-19 on Real Estate | MyKCM

This graph charts the index by showing how the real estate market started out strong in early 2020, and then dropped dramatically at the beginning of March when the pandemic paused the economy. It also shows the strength of the recovery since the beginning of May. It’s clear to see that the housing market is showing promising signs of recovery. As noted by Dean Mon, Chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB): “as the nation reopens, housing is well-positioned to lead the economy forward.

We can report that interest in Cape Cod properties remains strong. The median sales price for a single family home continues to inch up. Properties that are priced right and marketed effectively can be the subject of bidding wars as inventory is lower than what it was a year ago.

However, buyers should not be discouraged as low inventory does not mean no inventory. Mortgage interest rates make buying a home an attractive investment as the economy emerges from the virus crisis. Homeowners, who have been thinking about selling, are in a strong position to market their homes and upsize, downsize, or move to that “someday” neighborhood, because of the substantial equity many have in their properties.

As always, we are happy to meet with buyers or sellers to review options. We have several stories to share of successful transactions during the last few months. In one instance, we worked with a military couple being transferred to the Cape, who purchased their home virtually and did not physically see their new house until they arrived a few days before the closing! (Details to come…)

Let’s connect at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to discuss how we can help.


This Saturday will be a Fourth of July unlike any other that we’ve experienced.

Back in the day, we would venture to Boston for the Pops Concert and fireworks extravaganza that followed.

More recently we’ve been enjoying the fireworks in Falmouth with former clients, who are now good friends. Along with many others, we also would bring our lawn chairs to Holly Ridge Golf Club in Sandwich to view the fireworks display from the Ridge Club.

But, there’s none of that this year. So, however you celebrate this important holiday, please do so safely so that next year we can enjoy all those traditions that make the Fourth of July so special.

Stay healthy. Stay optimistic.

Mari and Hank

Buyers Shopping Outside Urban Areas

Over the last several weeks, we’ve been sharing with you reports that in the wake of the virus crisis buyers are looking to move to more open spaces. Here’s more evidence of this apparent shift in buyer behavior.

According to the industry newsletter HousingWire, new data released last week by realtor.com showed that listing views in suburban ZIP codes grew 13% in May, nearly doubling the pace of growth in urban areas.

“After several months of shelter-in-place orders, the desire to have more space and the potential for more people to work remotely are…contributing to the popularity of the ‘burbs,” explained Javier Vivas, director of research for realtor.com.

“Suburban interest in May outpaced last year’s July peak, which could indicate even stronger interest in the suburbs as the summer home-buying season continues to heat up,” he added.

This is good news for Cape Cod homeowners, who have been thinking about selling their property. With inventory still below last year’s levels, competition should be strong for well priced and effectively marketed homes.

If you’re undecided as to whether this is the right time for you to jump into the current market and upsize, downsize or move to that “someday” neighborhood, we’d be happy to assist you in reviewing your options. We can meet virtually or at a safe distance. Let’s connect at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com.


Industry standards have changed regarding Open Houses. This graphic lists some of the new procedures that are being adopted across the country in consultation with sellers.

At Today Real Estate, we’ve been working in pairs during an Open House.

One person stays outside collecting information for contact tracing and sharing details about the property, while the other is stationed inside conducting tours and insuring that appropriate protocols are followed. Only one buyer and/or family is allowed in the house at a time to further insure everyone’s safety.

Masks are required at all times. Booties and other precautions are at the discretion of the homeowner.


Just a reminder that if you’re thinking about selling or buying, our summertime guides are now available. Please visit our secondary website and click on the option for either guide in the banner. (Or maybe both??). They’re delivered via email. If you have any questions after reviewing a guide, please don’t hesitate to contact us. (508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com)

Thanks…

Stay healthy. Stay optimistic.

Mari and Hank

Don’t Be Afraid of the Economic Slowdown

Some of you who read the title of our blog last week — Have We Turned the Economic Corner? — may have thought we were a little crazy given the announcement that the country has entered a recession.

The slowdown is not entirely unexpected given the wide ranging effects of Covid-19. But, it’s important to remember that with the exception of 2008, recessions haven’t caused a housing crisis.

Here on Cape, the housing and real estate market is continuing to move forward, even through the pandemic.

The median sales price for a single family home sold last month was $454,000.00. In February when the recession is said to have started, the price was was $435,000.00. A year ago May, the median price was $427,000.00.

The Cape continues to deal with a smaller inventory. Right now, we stand at 4.5 months of available housing stock of single family homes. This means that if no additional houses were put on the market, there would be enough property to satisfy demand until mid-October. Last year at this time, there was six months of available inventory of single family homes.

This is why we’ve been preaching for months that if you have been thinking about selling your home, the timing couldn’t be better. Prices are continuing to rise and inventory is limited. With the equity many Cape homeowners have in their properties, those who sell now will be in a good position to effectively compete, whether looking to upsize, downsize, or move to that “someday” neighborhood.

If you’re interested in more information about the status of the market in particular communities, please reach out to us at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. Thanks…


Because of the pandemic, the traditional spring real estate market has gotten off to a late start. Here are some suggestions to get your home ready to sell this summer.


This is the time of year when the military implements many of its transfers. It’s been an honor for us to work with two military families, whose assignments have brought them to Cape Cod. One Coast Guard family, the Robledo’s, shared the picture we’ve featured above. Welcome to the Cape and thank you for your service!

Stay healthy. Stay optimistic.

Mari and Hank

Have We Turned the Economic Corner?

Last week’s news about lower than expected unemployment statistics caught many by surprise. While the number of people still out of work is clearly unacceptable, the turnaround that the new figures appear to indicate is an encouraging sign.

Over the past many weeks, we have been sharing with you via this blog and our social media platforms the thoughts of real experts — not the talking heads on your favorite cable news channel — who have been suggesting that a recovery would start during the end of the second quarter and be on its way by the third.

While we are not out of the woods yet, responsible experts are hopeful.

We continue to see strong buyer interest on Cape, driven at least in part by low mortgage rates.

As furloughed employees — who put their plans on hold until they returned to work full time — get back on the job, we can expect to see them revive their searches.

As we shared with you last week, they will be joined by city dwellers who, after being confined to apartments and cramped neighborhoods, will be looking for more space and fresher air.

But there remains an inventory shortfall.

We no doubt sound like the proverbial broken record when suggesting to those of you who have been thinking about selling that now’s the time. But it is. Maybe now more than ever.

As always, we’re available to meet with you at a safe distance or via any technology that you are comfortable with to discuss your options as either a seller or buyer. (Or both?) Let’s connect at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com.


Our new summer guides for buying or selling your home are now available! They contain valuable tips and information that will help you “make your move with Mari” as stress free as possible.

Please click here and scroll down to get your copy via email. Thanks.


In keeping with Governor Baker’s guidelines, the offices of Today Real Estate are opening on a scaled down basis. Our transaction coordinators returned last week. We can use our work spaces and office equipment, but masks are required at all times. Client access is still restricted.

As many of you have discovered, there has been a silver lining to our virus crisis, at least of terms of how we work. For us, virtual listing appointments and Matterport showings have been very effective.

Zoom meetings have made local and company wide meetings more efficient. Colleagues, who were kitchen table agents when the stay at home order began, have created home offices.

The number of realtors participating in on line house tours — instead of vehicle caravans from home to home — has increased dramatically. These and other changes may become the next normal for the housing and real estate industry.

Stay healthy. Stay optimistic.

Mari and Hank

The Spring Real Estate Market Starts Now!

With stay-at-home orders being lifted in New England and throughout the country, data indicates that homebuyers are charging back into the market. After many families put their plans on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, what we once called the busy spring real estate season is shifting into the summer.

Joel KanEconomist at The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) notes:

“Applications for home purchases continue to recover from April’s sizable drop and have now increased for five consecutive weeks…Government purchase applications, which include FHA, VA, and USDA loans, are now 5 percent higher than a year ago, which is an encouraging turnaround after the weakness seen over the past two months.”

Additionally, according to Google Trends, which scores search terms online, searches for real estate increased from 68 points the week of March 15th to 92 points last week. More potential homebuyers are looking for homes virtually.

What’s the Opportunity for Buyers?

Another reason buyers are coming back to the market, even with forced unemployment, is historically low mortgage rates. According to Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac :

“For the fourth consecutive week, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has been below 3.30 percent, giving potential buyers a good reason to continue shopping even amid the pandemic…As states reopen, we’re seeing purchase demand improve remarkably fast, now essentially flat relative to a year ago.”

With mortgage rates at such low levels and the outlines of the next normal becoming clearer, there’s more incentive than ever to buy a home this summer.

What’s the Opportunity for Sellers?

Finding a home to buy remains a challenge, as many sellers removed listings from the market in April. Even though more people are starting to market their homes fthis month as compared to last, current inventory is still well below last year’s level.

According to last week’s Weekly Economic and Housing Market Update from realtor.com:

“Weekly Housing Inventory showed continued tightening. New Listings declined 28% compared with a year ago, as sellers grappled with uncertainty and hesitated bringing homes to market. Total Listings dropped 20% YoY, a faster rate than in prior weeks, leaving very few homes available for sale. As Time on Market was 15 days slower YoY, asking prices moved up 1.5% YoY.”

If you’re thinking of selling your home now may be your best opportunity. With fewer properties on the market than in the past, this season may be the time for your house to stand out from the crowd. If you assume a 45 day period to complete a transaction, buyers who purchase a home in the next few weeks will be on Cape to still enjoy the summer.

Let’s connect either virtually or at a safe distance to make sure that your house in on the action this summer. We’re available at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com.


For those you who may be on the fence about selling, here’s another reason why the Cape housing market could be hot this summer.

According to a story this past Saturday on the Today Show, city residents, who can work remotely, are considering moving to more quiet surroundings after being stuck in high rises and clogged neighborhoods during the pandemic.

Here’s a link to the story: More People Considering Moving Out Of Expensive Cities If They Can Work Remotely


Many of the gloom and doomers, who were predicting back in early April the worst for homeowners, failed to take into account the large number of Americans, who actually owned their homes free and clear or had substantial equity in their property.

With demand high and inventory low, sellers stand to realize top dollar for their homes. Couple this with significant equity, they are in a strong position to purchase the home they’ve always wanted or the vacation spot that they’ve been dreaming about.

Let us know how we can help…

Stay healthy; stay optimistic.

Mari and Hank