Cape Cod’s Housing Market Slows Down After Two-Year Boom

HYANNIS – A Barnstable County official gave an update on Cape Cod property sales and how the slowing market could affect local budgets moving forward.

“The trend is things are slowing down,” said Register of Deeds Jack Meade at a recent meeting of the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates.

With two months of numbers from the current fiscal year, Meade reported that the county is down 12% in property revenue compared to a year ago.

He added that the volume of real estate sales was down 26% in August from the same time last year.

A recent report from the Cape and Islands Association of Realtors said the market has seen a 20% decline in sales over the 2022 calendar year.

Meade said the county’s main overall issue is having roughly $14 to $15 million in revenue for the year so there aren’t negative budget impacts.

Although Meade said he was confident the county would hit that number, he said there would be a significant change compared to the boom of activity the Cape saw the last two years.

“We think the trend is going back towards that $14 or $15 million area going forward, in line with what we were taking in pre-COVID, before the bump in activity that we experienced for the last two-year period,” he said.

He said the county saw about $14 million in revenue for Fiscal Years ’17, ’18, and ’19 with below $14 million in FY ’20.

However, the last two fiscal years the county had over $20 million in revenue from properties.

Meade noted that kind of excess revenue from property sales would be unlikely for the next few years.

The figures also raised questions about how the Cape’s second-homeowner-dominated market would be impacted.

“Will we see a huge sea change or just simply a slowing down, which is what we’re seeing now,” he said.

Meade said that the last few years featured several multi-million-dollar sales that likely won’t happen again in the immediate future.

He added the Cape has enough high-value property that sees turnover and “keeps us in good stead.”

Meade also referenced recent hikes to federal interest rates that could affect the mortgage market moving forward.

He said the below-median, first time homebuyer market will see more downward pressure on pricing since buyers have to qualify for mortgages.

He also said the mid- to high-level market could soften with buyers being pickier moving forward.

“Pickier in terms of what they’re looking at opposed to the ‘No inspections. I’ll buy it, whatever price’ sort of insanity we saw over the last two years,” he said.

By Brian Engles, NewsCenter

About Brian Engles

Brian Engles is a longtime local of the Cape. He studied Film & TV at Boston University and in addition to his role at Cape Cod Broadcasting Media, he also works as a music instructor and records original songs.
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