Realtors Association Seeing Positive Shift in Local Housing Market

WEST YARMOUTH – The Cape Cod Association of Realtors is reporting a positive change in the local housing market.

CEO Ryan Castle explained that from the beginning of the local COVID-19 outbreak to the middle of May, there was a decline in buyer activity and the number of homes going up for sale and under contract.

Since the middle of May and as coronavirus restrictions began easing, Castle said that there have been weekly increases of about 50% in homes with accepted offers in comparison to recent years.

“We’re getting a lot of reports of buyers coming in wanting refuge and rest on the Cape, and they’re willing to buy to do that,” Castle said.

While the month ended with an anticipated decline in home sales–a 47% decrease in single-family homes and a 45% decrease in condominiums–the median sales prices have risen in comparison to May of 2019 according to the association.

Castle attributes that rise in sales prices in part to a “historic low” in inventory levels. While around 2,100 homes are typically on the market at this time of year, Castle said there has been a roughly 20% decrease recently to about 1,500.

“That is our real concern going forward. How do we get more houses online; either through the easier way, which is sellers deciding to sell, or through new construction,” he said.

Cape Cod has not had much new construction traditionally, Castle explained, so he believes that building permits have to be issued more and more in the next few years in order to avoid further housing and affordability issues.

Castle said that while the Cape in general is seeing increased interest, activity on the Lower Cape has been especially high. Chatham, for instance, saw an increase of 110% in pending sales during May.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.
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