Tag Archives: #housingprices

But Where Will I Go?

That’s a question we frequently hear from homeowners who are sitting on the fence about selling.

The answer: wherever you want.

That’s because today’s market is undergoing a shift, and the supply of homes for sale is slowly increasing as a result. That means you may have a better chance of finding a home that will meet your current need, whether upsizing, downsizing or moving to that “someday” community. Here are some options to consider.

Buying an Existing Home Can Give You That Lived-in Charm

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the supply of existing homes nationally has steadily increased since the beginning of the year. The graph below indicates inventory levels are rising, and that’s largely due to more homes coming onto the market and the pace of sales slowing:

Wondering Where You’ll Move if You Sell Your House Today? | MyKCM

As the graph shows, if you’re looking for a home with lived-in charm, supply is rising, and that’s great news for you.

There are several benefits to buying an existing home. Many buyers want to purchase a home with history, and the character of older houses is hard to reproduce. Existing homes can often be part of an established neighborhood featuring mature landscaping that can give you additional privacy and boost your curb appeal.

Plus, timing can be a consideration as well. With an existing home, you can move in based on the timeline you agree to with the sellers, rather than building a new home and waiting for construction to finish. This is something to keep in mind, especially if you need to move sooner rather than later.

Just remember, while more sellers are listing their homes, supply is still low overall. That means you’ll have more options to choose from as you search for your next home, but you’ll still need to be prepared for a fast-moving market.

Purchasing a Newly Built or Under Construction Home Means Brand New Everything

Census data shows there’s an increasing number of new homes available for sale. It includes homes that are under construction, soon to be completed, and fully built. As the graph below highlights, the supply of new homes for sale has also grown this year:

Wondering Where You’ll Move if You Sell Your House Today? | MyKCM

When building a new home, you can create your perfect living space and customize it to your lifestyle. That could mean everything from requesting energy efficient options to specific design features. Plus, you’ll have the benefit of all new appliances, windows, roofing, and more. These can all help lower your energy costs, which can add up to significant savings over time.

The lower maintenance that comes with a newer home is another great advantage. When you have a new home, you likely won’t have as many little repairs to tackle, like leaky faucets, shutters to paint, and other odd jobs around the house. And with new construction, you’ll also have warranty options that may cover portions of your investment for the first few years.

But, keep in mind purchasing a new home could mean waiting a considerable amount of time before you can move. That’s an important factor when making your decision and depends on your personal time line.

Anecdotally, the number of homes available for sale on Cape appears to be increasing based on the time spent at our office and company-wide meetings discussing new listings. We’re also receiving more emails announcing price reduction announcements. Sometimes they involve properties where homeowners waited too long to sell and, as a result, the sale price that a neighbor received six months ago — that the seller wants today — isn’t realistic.

So, is it finally time to make your move? We put our Sandwich home under contract at the end of April and last month moved to an area in Mashpee that we had been thinking about for years. You can do it, too!. (And we received no special consideration from anyone, because we’re realtors.)

We’re happy to answer your questions about the current housing market. Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’ll provide you with the most up-to-date marketing data, as well as our thoughts based on our experience as sellers and buyers. Talk soon…

Please continue to be careful in the warm weather and pay attention to the kids and adults, who are not familiar with water. Thanks…

Mari and Hank

It’s Just Fireworks…

…the sky isn’t falling.

Nonetheless, we continue to read the headlines and hear the talk about a potential housing bubble or a crash, while the data and expert opinions tell a different story.

recent survey from Pulsenomics asked over one hundred housing market experts and real estate economists if they believe the housing market is in a bubble. The results indicate most experts don’t think that’s the case (see graph below):

Two Reasons Why Today’s Housing Market Isn’t a Bubble | MyKCM

As the graph shows, a strong majority (60%) said the real estate market is not currently in a bubble. In the same survey, experts give the following reasons why this isn’t like 2008:

  • The recent growth in home prices is because of demographics and low inventory
  • Credit risks are low because underwriting and lending standards are sound

If you’re concerned a crash may be coming, here’s a deep dive into those two key factors that should help ease your concerns.

1. Low Housing Inventory Is Causing Home Prices To Rise

The supply of homes available for sale needed to sustain a normal real estate market is approximately six months. Anything more than that is an overabundance and will causes prices to depreciate. Anything less than that is a shortage and will lead to continued price appreciation.

As the graph below shows, there were too many homes for sale from 2007 to 2010 (many of which were short sales and foreclosures), and that caused prices to tumble. Today, there’s still a shortage of inventory, which is causing ongoing home price appreciation (see graph below):

Two Reasons Why Today’s Housing Market Isn’t a Bubble | MyKCM

Inventory is nothing like the last time. Prices are rising because there’s a healthy demand for homeownership at the same time there’s a limited supply of homes for sale. Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, explains: “The demand for homes continues to exceed the supply of homes for sale, which is keeping price growth high.”

2. Mortgage Lending Standards Today Are Nothing Like the Last Time

During the housing bubble, it was much easier to get a mortgage than it is today. Here’s a graph showing the mortgage volume issued to purchasers with a credit score less than 620 during the housing boom, and the subsequent volume in the years after:

Two Reasons Why Today’s Housing Market Isn’t a Bubble | MyKCM

This graph helps show one element of why mortgage standards are nothing like they were the last time. Purchasers who acquired a mortgage over the last decade are much more qualified than they were in the years leading up to the crash. Realtor.com notes: “…lenders are giving mortgages only to the most qualified borrowers. These buyers are less likely to wind up in foreclosure.”

Has the housing market moderated a bit? It seems to be. We’re heading towards a more pre-pandemic — aka “normal” — market. It means that open houses aren’t as crazy. It’s taking more than a weekend to sell a property. There are more price reductions as sellers, who stayed on the sidelines and now want to get the same price for their homes that their neighbors got six months ago, realize that they’ve missed out.

As predicted, the uptick in interest rates has caused some buyers to pause their search. But, places like Cape Cod remain attractive destinations. Our home prices are less than many communities in the Boston area and we offer more in terms of lifestyle opportunities, quality local schools, etc.

Are you thinking of selling but asking yourself: “But, where can we go?” The answer is where ever you want. That’s what we just did. We sold our home of 28 years and moved to an area that we’ve been thinking about for years. We had no real advantage being realtors. We competed like everyone else for property. We made a few offers before one was accepted. We had to find the best mortgage interest rate. We had to weigh what was the best offer for our home.

We learned a lot that will make us better realtors and advisors for our clients.

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 and what strategies work best for buying and selling a home.


Happy 4th of July! If you’re heading to the beach this week, please keep watch on the kids and adults who aren’t familiar with the water. We’ve had too many fatal or near fatal accidents already. Thanks…

Mari and Hank

Why a Wave of Foreclosures Is Not on the Way

There are several reasons why potential buyers tell us that they are waiting to make their move.

One theory is that with forbearance plans coming to an end, there will be a wave of foreclosures similar to what happened after the housing bubble 15 years ago. These buyers are figuring that they will then swoop in and purchase a home at a discounted price.

Here are a few reasons why that won’t happen.

There are significantly fewer homeowners in trouble this time

After the last housing crash, about 9.3 million households lost their homes to a foreclosure, short sale, or because they simply gave it back to the bank.

As stay-at-home orders were issued early last year, the fear was the pandemic would impact the housing industry in a similar way. Many projected up to 30% of all mortgage holders would enter the forbearance program. In reality, only 8.5% actually did, and that number is now down to 2.2%.

As of about two weeks ago, the total number of mortgages still in forbearance stood at  1,221,000. That’s far fewer than the 9.3 million households that lost their homes just over a decade ago.

Most of the mortgages in forbearance have enough equity to sell their homes

Due to rapidly rising home prices over the last two years, of 1.22 million homeowners currently in forbearance, 93% have at least 10% equity in their homes. This 10% equity is important because it enables homeowners to sell their homes and pay the related expenses instead of facing the hit on their credit that a foreclosure or short sale would create.

The remaining 7% might not have the option to sell, but if the entire 7% of those 1.22 million homes went into foreclosure, that would total about 85,400 mortgages. To give that number context, here are the annual foreclosure numbers for the three years leading up to the pandemic:

  • 2017: 314,220
  • 2018: 279,040
  • 2019: 277,520

The probable number of foreclosures coming out of the forbearance program is nowhere near the number of foreclosures that impacted the housing crash 15 years ago. It’s actually less than one-third of any of the three years prior to the pandemic.

The current market can absorb listings coming to the market

When foreclosures hit the market back in 2008, there was an oversupply of houses for sale. It’s exactly the opposite today. In 2008, there was over a nine-month supply of listings on the market. Today, that number is less than a three-month supply. Here’s a graph showing the difference between the two markets.

Why a Wave of Foreclosures Is Not on the Way | MyKCM

Bottom Line

The data indicates why Ivy Zelman, founder of the major housing market analytical firm Zelman and Associates, was on point when she stated: “The likelihood of us having a foreclosure crisis again is about zero percent.”

With housing prices continuing to rise and mortgage interest rates inching up, waiting to make your move is simply not a solid financial strategy.

Curious about your options? We’d be happy to answer your questions. Let’s connect at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com.


We’re often asked about whether it’s a good idea to market your home during the holidays. As part of her 30 Days, 30 Questions series, Mari explained why it’s not such a bad idea.

Enjoy your week…

Mari and Hank

Mortgage Rates Are Expected to Rise

We met a young couple at our favorite watering hole Saturday evening, who started asking us about the housing market when they learned that we were real estate agents. (Funny, how that always happens…)

When the discussion turned to interest rates, they were truly shocked when we told them that the mortgage rate we paid for our first home was about 14% and how thrilled we were when the rate finally dropped to 7%!

Mortgage rates are one of several factors that impact how much you can afford if you’re buying a home. When rates are low, they help you get more house for your money. Within the last year, mortgage rates hit the lowest point ever recorded, and they’ve hovered in this historic-low territory. But even over the past few weeks, rates have started to rise. This past week, the average 30-year fixed rate was 3.14%.

What does this mean if you’re thinking about making a move?  Simply put, waiting until next year will cost you more in the long run. Here’s a look at what several experts project for mortgage rates going into 2022.

Experts Project Mortgage Rates Will Continue To Rise in 2022 | MyKCM

So, whether you’re thinking about buying your first home, moving up to your dream home, or downsizing because your needs have changed, purchasing before mortgage rates rise even higher will help you take advantage of today’s homebuying affordability.

While no one is predicting that rates will be as high as when we bought our first home, if rates rise even a half-point percentage over the next year, it will impact what you pay each month over the life of your loan – and that can really add up. So, the reality is, as prices and mortgage rates rise, it will cost more to purchase a home.

Want to know more about how mortgage rates impact how much of a house you can afford? We’re available to answer this and any question about the housing market. You can connect with us at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’re happy to help.


Mari is continuing her 30 Days; 30 Questions series. Here’s one from last week about staging your home when selling.

Have a good week…

Mari and Hank

Two Reasons Why Waiting a Year To Buy Could Cost You

If you’re a renter with a desire to become a homeowner, or a homeowner who’s decided your current house no longer fits your needs, you may be hoping that waiting a year might mean better market conditions to purchase a home.

To determine if you should buy now or wait, you need to ask yourself two simple questions:

  1. What will home prices be like in 2022?
  2. Where will mortgage rates be by the end of 2022?

Let’s shed some light on the answers to both of these questions.

What will home prices be like in 2022?

Three major housing industry entities project continued home price appreciation for 2022. Here are their forecasts:

Using the average of the three projections (6.27%), a home that sells for $350,000 today would be valued at $371,945 by the end of next year. That means, if you delay, it could cost you more. As a prospective buyer, you could pay an additional $21,945 if you wait.

Where will mortgage rates be by the end of 2022?

Today, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate is hovering near historic lows. However, most experts believe rates will rise as the economy continues to recover. Here are the forecasts for the fourth quarter of 2022 by the three major entities mentioned above:

That averages out to 3.7% if you include all three forecasts, and it’s nearly a full percentage point higher than today’s rates. Any increase in mortgage rates will increase your cost.

What does it mean for you if both home values and mortgage rates rise?

You’ll pay more in mortgage payments each month if both variables increase. Let’s assume you purchase a $350,000 home this year with a 30-year fixed-rate loan at 2.86% after making a 10% down payment. According to the mortgage calculator from Smart Asset, your monthly mortgage payment (including principal and interest payments, and estimated home insurance, taxes in your area, and other fees) would be approximately $1,899.

Two Reasons Why Waiting a Year To Buy Could Cost You | MyKCM

That same home could cost $371,945 by the end of 2022, and the mortgage rate could be 3.7% (based on the industry forecasts mentioned above). Your monthly mortgage payment, after putting down 10%, would increase to $2,166.

The difference in your monthly mortgage payment would be $267. That’s $3,204 more per year and $96,120 over the life of the loan.

If you consider that purchasing now will also let you take advantage of the equity you’ll build up over the next calendar year, which is approximately $22,000 for a house with a similar value, then the total net worth increase you could gain from buying this year is over $118,000.

Sound intriguing?? Let’s connect at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. Helping our clients make the best decisions for their individual situations has been our full time job for 22 years. We’d be happy to answer your questions.


We’re in Dallas this week attending the Tom Ferry Success Summit 2021. Ferry is the leading real estate coach and trainer in the country and we’ve been involved with his organization for many years. The event has been virtual the last two years, so we’re looking forward to re-connecting with agent friends from around the country and the world, as well as making new contacts. This is a great opportunity to learn about trends and new directions in the housing market from the people directly involved.

We’ll share with you what we learned in upcoming posts.

Have a great week…

Mari and Hank

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

Fixer Uppers Are Not Always a Good Deal

First time home buyers are sometimes tempted to purchase a property that needs some work. The price of a fixer-upper is less and if potential buyers are handy — or think they are — the opportunity to save money is enticing.

But, according to a recent article on the ValuePenguin website, buyers may end up spending more after renovations than they would have spent had they gone ahead and purchased a move-in ready home.

While a fixer-upper may have a lower purchase price than a comparable turnkey house ⁠— a property that needs no major improvements before you move in ⁠— the money that sometimes is needed to fix the house often exceeds expectations.

On average, those who responded to a national survey and bought turnkey houses said they spent $250,496.00, while those who purchased fixer-uppers bought their homes for $199,819.00. After renovations, those who stayed within budget spent an average of $246,891.00 in total. That’s not much of a savings. (Remember this is a national survey, not one based on Cape Cod home prices.)

Of those who bought fixer-uppers, 44%  said they went over budget, spending on average 38% more than expected, according to the survey. Among those who went over budget, the average total cost of buying and renovating the home came to $275,741.00 ⁠— approximately $25,000.00 more than the average cost of a turnkey house.

Some renovation projects seem to be more budget unfriendly than others. Home buyers who needed to install a new HVAC  system, do major plumbing work, or make basement renovations were the most likely to spend more than they planned.

Not surprisingly, those fixer-upper homeowners who overspent were more likely to regret their purchase, than those who stayed within their renovation budgets, according to the article.

If you’re thinking about buying a fixer-upper, consider more than just the price. Be realistic about the costs of bringing the home to the condition you want and plan for the surprises you may encounter along the way. Also, be wary of friends who say they can help you with renovations. They may not know as much as they claim and might not be available when the time comes to actually do the work.


Our buyers and sellers guides for the fall are now available. Please visit our video website for more information. Thanks…


…and for those of you concerned about the status of the economy and whether now is the time to get involved in the real estate market, the chart below should be encouraging.

Enjoy your week…

Mari and Hank