Has the Market Shifted?

We won’t have official numbers from the Cape Cod and Island Board of Realtors for at least a week, but anecdotally — based on what we’ve seen and our colleagues are saying — there seems to have been a shift in the area’s real estate market.

The Open House frenzy of March and April seems to have calmed. While there are always exceptions, there are no longer lines of buyers waiting to see a property. What we used to describe as a “busy” Open House has returned.

Multiple offers are still the norm, but not in the numbers of a few months ago. Bids are still over asking price, but there aren’t as many head scratchers, because of the large amounts involved.

What hasn’t changed is that list price is now the starting point. The days of bidding low are a thing of the past — at least for now.

Why the change? There are several potential reasons.

May and June can be some of the slower months in the housing industry as people focus on weddings, graduations, summer plans, etc.

But, national housing industry publications are also talking about “buyer fatigue.” Too many lines to see properties that became out of reach, because competition pushed the prices beyond what many could afford. (Or thought was reasonable.)

At the same time, the number of listings has crept up. While inventory is still nowhere near what it needs to be, the increase in available property is a good sign.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been on more successful listing appointments than we have in several months.

It has also taken less time to find buyers new homes. Last week, a client closed on a property that he purchased for list price after we were the only ones to attend the Open House.

Finally, with so many getting vaccinated, the urgency to move to areas like Cape Cod for the open space, recreational activities, etc. has lessened. Health clubs are open again. The kids can swim in the condo pool. Favorite restaurants and bars are now providing indoor and outdoor dining.

You also have to wonder if the “work-at-home” thing has fizzled a little. Morning traffic reports for Boston are starting to look vaguely similar to those of pre-virus days.

Is this a temporary lull or another example of a return to normalcy? We should have a definite answer by the end of summer.

In the short -term, what does this mean for buyers and sellers?

For buyers — especially those who stepped out — it’s time to get back in.

For sellers, who have been sitting on the sidelines, you may have lost money. While offers are still coming in for over asking prices, they are not as high as they typically were just a few months ago. (But there are still exceptions.) While no one expects prices to drop, potential return on investment is shrinking.

As always, we’re available to answer your questions or help you review your options. We’ve been helping our clients make the best decisions for themselves for over 20 years. Just contact us at 508–568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com.

If you haven’t, please visit Mari’s Facebook group Cape Cod Dining at Home (and anywhere else.)

Began early in the virus crisis to exchange recipe ideas during the lockdown and support local restaurants, it has grown to 4,200 members from across the country.

Don’t wish for it; go for it!

Mari and Hank

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