Tag Archives: #sandwichrealestate

The Market Is Settling Down

In last week’s post we wondered if the real estate market on Cape Cod was changing. We only had anecdotal evidence based on our own experience and that of our colleagues to suggest that there seemed to be a shift.

Now, we have the official stats from the Cape Cod and Island Association of Realtors that suggests something may be happening.

The biggest evidence is a drop of $30,000 in median sales price for a single family home from May ($630,000) to June ($600,000) across Barnstable County. So, while the final sale price as a percentage of list has remained steady (104%), the actual dollar amount has decreased.

In Sandwich, the median price dropped from $590,000 in May to $539,000 in June — a not insignificant decrease of more than $50,000.

It’s important to note that a year to date comparison from 2020 to 2021 shows a nearly 31% increase in median sales price in Town overall. ($420,000 vs. $550,000.)

Inventory across the Cape increased last month (502) from the previous (448). In Town, it jumped from 25 to 34 homes. New listings nearly doubled from 28 to 50, while days on market increased from 14 to 24.

The Cape now has 1.2 month supply of available single family homes. At least three months is needed to be considered even reasonably healthy.

So what does this mean?

For buyers — particularly those who dropped out of the market after being frustrated with long lines at open houses and price competitions that they couldn’t win — this could be a good sign. If you were among the discouraged, it might be time to re-start your search.

For sellers — as we’ve been suggesting for weeks now — your return on investment is potentially shrinking. While we’re continuing to see most offers come in above list price, they’re generally not at the volume or mind boggling levels that we saw just a few months ago. (In Sandwich, the percentage over list dropped from 105.6% to 103.1%)

The time for sellers to act is now, as competition is increasing with more homes coming on the market.

If you’re wondering where you can move if you sell, the larger inventory is also a positive for you.

Is this a temporary slowdown because of buyer fatigue and distractions due to graduations, weddings, and vacation planning? Or is something else at work? Time will tell, but smart real estate investors — sellers or buyers — should take note.

As always, we’re happy to assist you in reviewing your options . We’ve been helping our clients make the best decisions for themselves for more than 20 years.

Please reach out at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. Talk soon…

Don’t wish for it; go for it!

Mari and Hank

Demand for Vacation Homes Is Still Strong

Lost in all the chatter about urban dwellers permanently relocating to places like Cape Cod in response to the virus crisis is the fact that vacation or second homes remain very popular.

The 2021 Vacation Home Counties Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows an increase in vacation home sales continuing in 2021. The report examines sales in counties where “vacant seasonal, occasional, or recreational use housing account for at least 20% of the housing stock” and compares that data to the overall residential market.

Here are some stats:

Vacation home sales rose by 16.4% to 310,600 in 2020, outpacing the 5.6% growth in total existing-home sales.

Vacation home sales are up 57.2% year-over-year during January-April 2021 compared to the 20% year-over-year change in total existing-home sales.

Home prices rose more in vacation home counties – the median existing price rose by 14.2% in vacation home counties, compared to 10.1% in non-vacation home counties.

In the New England, properties in vacation home counties typically sold 24 days faster compared to non-vacation home counties.

The NAR report coincides with data released by Zelman & Associates on the increase in sales of second homes throughout the country last year.

As the data above shows, there is still high demand for second getaway homes in 2021 even as the pandemic winds down. While we may see a rise in second-home sellers as life returns to normal, ongoing low supply and high demand will continue to provide those sellers with a good return on their investment.

Vacation home owners decide to sell for a variety of reasons from the kids getting older and being more interested in spending time with friends and not vacationing with parents to the prohibitive cost of maintaining two residences.

If you’re one of the many people who purchased a vacation home during the virus crisis, you’re likely wondering what this means for you. If you’re now considering selling that home as life returns to normal, you have options as there are still plenty of buyers in the market.

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

Stay cool…

Mari and Hank

Home Buying Is Like an Auction

For generations, the process of buying and selling a home has never really changed.

A homeowner and their real estate professional would estimate the market value of the house, then tack on a little extra for negotiating room. That figure would become the listing price. 

Buyers would then try to determine how much less than the full price they could offer and still get the home.

As a result, the listing price was generally the ceiling of the negotiation. The actual sales price would almost always be somewhat lower than what was listed. It was unthinkable to pay more than what the seller was asking.

Today is different.

The record-low supply of homes for sale coupled with very strong buyer demand is leading to a rise in bidding wars on many homes. Because of this, houses today are selling for more than the list price. In some cases, they can sell for a lot more.

In Sandwich, single family houses sold last month for 105% of asking price. The median sales price was $590,000.00; up from $434,500.00 in 2020.

Last month there were also only 28 new listings for single family homes in Sandwich, down from a mere 39 a year ago.

You may need to change the way you look at the asking price of a home.

In this market, you likely can’t shop for a home with the former approach of negotiating to a lower price.

Due to the low supply, many properties are now being offered in an auction-like atmosphere in which the highest bidder wins the home. In an actual auction, the seller of an item agrees to take the highest bid, and many sellers set a reserve price which is the minimum amount they will accept.

So, when navigating a competitive housing market, think of the list price of the home as the reserve price at an auction. It’s the minimum the seller will accept in many cases.

We have found in working with new buyers that there is an education process to this w way of thinking. Just last week, a new buyer was honestly shocked that their offer of $5,000 over asking price for a moderately — but today’s definition — priced home in Town was the lowest of five bids. Their offer for the next house they were interested in was much more in line with the new pricing reality. We’re still waiting to hear if they were successful, but these buyers learned quickly. Sometimes others lose out on a few homes before they adjust.

Remember: someone like good old Uncle Harry who “knows a little something about real estate” may be telling you that it’s foolish to offer more for a home than the listing price. But, he’s more familiar with the housing market of the past than of today

Frequent and competitive bidding wars have changed the housing market. We’re always happy to answer your questions or provide you with current information about the real estate market in Town or across the Cape. Please reach out at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. Thanks…

Mari and Hank