Monthly Archives: June 2022

The High Cost of Waiting

You’ve been thinking about buying a home, but the current economic situation has you skittish. As predicted, Interest rates have inched up. But, they’re nowhere near what you’re currently paying on your credit cards.

Well-meaning relatives, who “know a little something about real estate,” and not so sincere talking heads on your favorite cable news channel are saying you should wait because sales prices are going to drop.

Level off?

Possibly.

Drop?

No.

So, here’s what waiting is costing you.

If you already owned a home, your net worth likely got a big boost thanks to rising home equity. Equity is the current value of your home minus what you owe on the loan. And today, based on recent home price appreciation, you would be building equity far faster than you would have expected. Here’s why.

Because there’s an ongoing imbalance between the number of homes available for sale and the number of buyers looking to make a purchase, home prices are on the rise. That means a home is worth more in today’s market because it’s in high demand. As Patrick Dodd, President and CEO of CoreLogicexplains: “Price growth is the key ingredient for the creation of home equity wealth…This has led to the largest one year gain in average home equity wealth for owners…”

Basically, because home values have climbed so much, equity has increased too. According to the latest Homeowner Equity Insights from CoreLogicthe average homeowner’s equity has grown by $64,000 over the last 12 months.

While that’s the nationwide number, the map below shows that average equity for Massachusetts homeowners has increased $62,000.

The Average Homeowner Gained $64K in Equity over the Past Year | MyKCM

The Opportunity Your Rising Home Equity Provides

Thinking about marketing your home and upsizing, downsizing or moving to that someday neighborhood? Your equity can help you purchase your next home. When you sell your current house, the equity you built up comes back to you in the sale. In a market where homeowners are gaining so much equity, it may be just what you need to cover a large portion – if not all – of the down payment on your next home.

So, if you’ve been holding off on selling or you’re worried about being priced out of your next home because of today’s ongoing home price appreciation, your equity can help fuel your move.

That’s what we just did. We took advantage of the equity in our home to downsize and purchase something smaller in an area that we’ve been looking at for years. We had no home sale contingency when we made our offer. We then sold our house and received $45,000 over asking price! You can do it, too!

Curious about your options? We’re happy to answer your questions. Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’ll share with you current market statistics, as well as our experiences as both buyers and sellers. Let’s talk soon.

Enjoy your week. It looks like summer is finally here!

Best regards,

Mari and Hank

Is the Boom Over?

If you’re following the news, all of the headlines about conditions in the current housing market may be leaving you with more questions than answers. Is the boom over? Is the market crashing or correcting? Here’s what you need to know.

The housing market is moderating compared to the last two years, but what everyone needs to remember is that the past two years were record-breaking in nearly every way. Record-low mortgage rates and millennials reaching peak homebuying years led to an influx of buyer demand. At the same time, there weren’t enough homes available to purchase thanks to many years of underbuilding and sellers who held off on listing their homes due to the health crisis.

This combination led to record-high demand and record-low supply, and that just wasn’t going to be sustainable for the long term. The latest data shows early signs of a shift back to the market pace seen in the years leading up to the pandemic – not a crash nor a correction.

Home Showings Then and Now

The ShowingTime Showing Index tracks the traffic of home showings according to agents and brokers. It’s a good indication of buyer demand. Here’s a look at that data going back to 2019 (see graph below):

Is the Housing Market Correcting? | MyKCM

The 2019 numbers give a good baseline of pre-pandemic demand (shown in gray). As the graph indicates, home showings skyrocketed during the pandemic (shown in blue). And while current buyer demand has begun to moderate slightly based on the latest data (shown in green), showings are still above 2019 levels.

And since 2019 was such a strong year for the housing market, this helps show that the market isn’t crashing – it’s just at a turning point that’s moving back toward more pre-pandemic levels.

Based on our own experience and that of our colleagues we can say that not every Open House has lines of potential buyers stretching down the driveway, as was the case not that long ago. Appropriately priced homes still attract a crowd, but buyers have become a bit more discerning. Houses whose asking price aren’t realistic because of condition or location are getting less attention when they might have a year ago.

What we are seeing — and again, this is anecdotally — are some homes becoming available to see if they will sell at some crazy price, because buyers are thought to still be “desperate.” But, there’s not much interest.

Existing Home Sales Then and Now

The headlines are also talking about how existing home sales are declining, but perspective matters here, as well. Let’s look at existing home sales going all the way back to 2019 using data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) (see graph below):

Is the Housing Market Correcting? | MyKCM

Again, a similar story emerges. The pandemic numbers (shown in blue) beat the more typical year of 2019 home sales (shown in gray). And according to the latest projections for 2022 (shown in green), the market is on pace to close this year with more home sales than 2019 as well.

It’s important to compare today not to the abnormal pandemic years, but to the most recent normal year to show the current housing market is still strong. First American sums it up like this: “…today’s housing market looks a lot like the 2019 housing market, which was the strongest housing market in a decade at the time…”

Housing sales statistics for May have just been released by the Cape Cod and the Islands Board of Realtors and show that YTD the median sales price for a single family home is $690,000.00. (The YTD number one year ago was $607,000.00) New listings YTD are 1,613 compared to 1,836 in 2021.

New listings in May numbered 468. Last May there were 511. Months of housing supply in May is 1.4. In January it was 0.7 meaning more homes are coming on the market. This trend is expected to continue, but we have a long way to go to reach the more than five months supply we had pre-pandemic when good houses were available for sale for more than 100 days.

If recent headlines are concerning you and you’re thinking about buying, selling or both, look at a more typical year for perspective. The current market is not a crash or correction. It’s just a turning point toward more typical, pre-pandemic levels.

We’re happy to answer your questions. Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. It’s important that you have the correct information before making a decision.

…and remember, we just sold our house of 28 years and moved to a smaller property. So, we get it.

Have a great week…

Mari and Hank

Your Best Options as a First-Time Homebuyer

If you’re looking to buy your first home, you’re likely balancing several factors. Because both mortgage rates and home prices have risen this year, it costs more to buy a house than it did even just a few months ago. But that doesn’t mean you have to put your plans on hold.

Here are two tips to help you get started.

Prioritize Your Wish List

If you’re having trouble finding a home in your budget that checks all the boxes, it may be worth taking another look at your list of what you want and what you really need. 

According to the latest First-Time Homebuyer Metro Affordability Report from NerdWallet, your wish list can have as much impact on your search as your finances: “Your budget isn’t all that you need to be concerned about. Your wish list and desired location may carry just as much weight.”

It’s all about prioritization. If you’re serious about purchasing your first home soon, be flexible in what you’re looking for to open up your pool of options. Work with a local professional — not your Uncle’s cousin’s son from 50 miles away. Most properties come and go quickly. Local realtors have the best access to information about when homes become available. We also know what the current successful strategies are to have an offer an accepted.

Remember, making a concession on your wish list now doesn’t mean you’ll never have everything you want. After you’ve moved in, you can always add certain features to make the home your own. Countertops can be changed. Cabinets added. Basements finished. In many cases, there’s really no rush.

Increase Your Search Radius To Consider More Locations

Some areas may have more homes within your target price range than others, but it may require you to be flexible on your location.

For example, if you’re a remote worker, you may be able to expand your search radius. As Fannie Mae explains: “…continued remote work flexibility is likely giving many the ability to live farther away.”

The median selling price in the Boston area for a single family home in April was $845,000. On Cape, it was $675,000.

So, if you’ve vacationed on Cape for years and always wanted to live here full time, now could be your chance. Buying on Cape is less expensive and there’s a big difference between driving to Boston twice a week, as opposed to daily.

The Cape also offers more open space and lifestyle options.

If you’re serious about purchasing your first home this year, revisiting your wish list and desired location can help. Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to explore all the options here on Cape – and beyond, if you’re interested – so you can achieve your homeownership dreams.


The move to our new home was very successful. (Getting our new furniture delivered is another story!) We chronicled the day for you on our YouTube series Mari Makes the Move. You can see it here.

Selling and buying was a new experience for us as we lived in our previous home for 28 years. We learned a lot that we’ll be sharing with you in the weeks ahead.

Have a great week…

Mari and Hank


What Does the Rest of 2022 Hold for the Housing Market?

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a house, you’re at an exciting decision point where timing can be crucial. So, what does the rest of the year hold for the housing market? Here’s what experts have to say.

The Number of Homes Available for Sale Is Likely To Grow

There are early signs housing inventory is starting to grow and experts say that should continue in the months ahead. According to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com: “The gap between this year’s homes for sale and last year’s is one-fifth the size that it was at the beginning of the year. The catch up is likely to continue…This growth will mean more options for shoppers than they’ve had in a while, even though inventory continues to lag pre-pandemic normal.”

  • As a buyer, having more options is welcome news. Just remember, housing supply is still low, so be ready to act fast and put in your best offer up front.
  • As a seller, your house may soon face more competition when other sellers list their homes. But the good news is, if you’re also buying your next home, having more options to choose from should make that move-up process easier.

Here on Cape, there has been a very modest, but steady increase in new listings this year. In January, there were 209. In April, there were 375. For some perspective, there were 629 new listings in April 2019 and we had 5.8 months of housing inventory.

Commenting on social media last week, Ryan Castle, Chief Executive Officer of the Cape and Island Association of Realtors, reported that “162 of 223 properties that became available over the last two weeks are still for sale.”

Cumulative days on the market before sale (YTD) is 36 seeming to indicate that not every property is selling in a day. Just a few years ago, days on market for well-maintained and appropriately priced homes could number in the months.

Mortgage Rates Will Likely Continue To Respond to Inflationary Pressures

Experts also agree inflation should continue to drive up mortgage rates, albeit more moderately. Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First Americansays: “…ongoing inflationary pressure remains likely to push mortgage rates even high in the months to come.”

  • As a buyer, work with reputable lenders, so you can learn how rising the mortgage rate environment impacts your purchasing power. It may make sense to buy now before it costs more to do so, if you’re ready.
  • As a seller, rising mortgage rates are motivating some homeowners to make a move up sooner rather than later. If you’re planning to buy your next home, talk to us and we can give you some advice on timing your move based on our own experience.

Home Prices Are Projected To Continue To Increase

Home prices are forecast to keep appreciating because there are still fewer homes for sale than there are buyers in the market. That said, experts agree the pace of that appreciation should moderate – but home prices won’t fall. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says: “Given the extremely low inventory, we’re unlikely to see prices decline, but appreciation should slow in the coming months.”

  • As a buyer, continued home price appreciation means it’ll cost you more to buy the longer you wait. But it also gives you peace of mind that, once you do buy a home, it will likely grow in value. That makes it historically a good investment and a strong hedge against inflation.
  • As a seller, price appreciation is great news for the value of your home. Again, you can take advantage of our experience to find the best way to strike the right balance for both selling your house and buying your next one. (We just did that!)

On Cape, the median sales price for a single family home (TYD) is up 12.5% to $675,000.00. In April 2019, it was $420,000.00.

But, the percentage of original list price received (YTD) is 101.1% suggesting that the days of head scratching offers may be fading. (Although there will always be exceptions.) In 2019, percentage of list was 92.9%. Back then asking price was the best you could hope for, not the starting point as it often is today.

Thinking about making your move? We’d be happy to answer your questions. Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. It’s important that you have the most accurate information to make the best decision for you.


…and speaking of making your move, today (Monday) is moving day for us. We closed on our new condo this past Wednesday and have used the last several days to finish packing up our house where we have lived for the last 28 years and bringing in painters, etc. to our new place. We close on our “old” home this coming Wednesday,

We’ve been chronicling what we’ve been doing in a series called “Mari Makes the Move” that you can find on our YouTube channel Mari Sennott Plus and on many of our social media platforms.

We’ll let you know next week how it all went…

Mari and Hank