Cape Cod’s Low Inventory, Buyer Timelines Affecting Home Sales

HYANNIS – A local real estate official said the 20 to 30% drop in the number of home sales on Cape Cod in 2022 is not only due to a lack of inventory but may also be due to timelines of home buyers that were shifted during the pandemic’s housing boom.

Ryan Castle, CEO of the Cape Cod and Islands Association of Realtors, said buyers who were planning on purchasing in later years ended up buying in 2020 or 2021 instead.  

“Most of our buyers were people who were already going to buy here at some point, I would say the vast majority, but they moved that timeline around and up during the frenzy,” Castle said.

Although prices seem stable at the moment, Castle said Cape real estate officials are waiting to see how the market will respond to different economic pressures.

Castle advised people who are looking to sell or buy to consult a trusted real estate professional.

“You’ve got to be talking to someone who’s knowledgeable in your marketplace, in your village, in your town, because these markets are changing rapidly and quickly,” Castle said.

Housing inventory in the region is slowly increasing, according to Castle. He said sellers and listing agents possibly pushing prices too high, buyer fatigue, and interest rates are all contributing factors.  

Castle noted the uneasiness of the economy is leading some buyers to back off from purchasing a home while others are more motivated to purchase now not knowing where interest rates could head next.

He added there is still activity in the Cape’s housing market and that data on home sales is a lagging indicator of what’s happening in the marketplace since numbers are usually from one-to-three months after deals go under contract.

One section of the market where Castle said there is still pent-up demand is entry-level housing even with climbing mortgage rates.

Castle said his agency has partnered with the Housing Assistance Corporation and Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce on an initiative called Housing to Protect Cape Cod.

The joint effort will be a way for towns to organize to push for zoning reforms that will lead to housing production affordability.

“We have to produce housing that is attainable by year-round Cape Codders, but not in a deed-restricted artificial way where they’re not able to attribute the equity they need,” 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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