2021 was a year for the record books. The shortage of available listings continued from 2020, with multiple offers and bidding wars becoming the norm. It was a very frustrating year for Buyers AND for Realtors. I personally do not like when my Buyers to have to bid against other Buyers, dropping normal contingencies like mortgages and home inspections just to make a competitive offer. In the end, many Buyers would seemingly overpay for a home that had not been inspected before purchase. Sometimes this home would be in the millions of dollars, too.
That being said, I do not see this market changing in the near future because there is so much pent up demand. Life is different for people who can now work from home and choose to not live in a crowded city environment anymore. The Cape offers a more relaxed lifestyle and is still very close to Boston; I don’t feel things will slow down in 2022. Many Buyers are also cash customers so the rising rates are not a deal-breaker as some may think. The sales prices continue to rise so if you REALLY want a home on Cape Cod in the near future, you need to jump in and buy sooner rather than later. Here is a summary of the four towns that make up the Lower Cape.
CHATHAM – Median Sale Price increased 44.8 percent in 2021 versus 2020. It went from $863,000 to $1,250,000. There were 242 CLOSED sales of single family homes (SFH), down 14.5 percent from 2020, and 235 PENDING sales of SFH, down 23.5 percent.
HARWICH – Median Sale Price increased 18.7 percent in 2021 versus 2020, from $514,000 to $610,000. There were 257 CLOSED sales of SFH versus 328 in 2020, a difference of -21.6 percent. PENDING sales of SFH were down 23.7 percent.
ORLEANS – Median Sale Price rose 14.9 percent for SFH in 2021, to $951,000. In 2020 it was $827,500. CLOSINGS sunk 33.8 percent to only 131 SFH sold; compared to 198 in 2020. Finally, PENDING sales were also down 35 percent year over year.
BREWSTER – Median Sale Price for Brewster SFH increased 29.6 percent in 2021 to $700,000, compared to $540,000 in 2020. CLOSINGS were down by 18.6 percent with 175 SFH sold, compared to 215 that sold in 2020. PENDING sales were down 24.9 percent as well.
Finally, DENNIS is not the Lower Cape but I do work in this market and I know it’s a popular destination for a lot of Buyers. So I will give a recap for Dennis, too. Here the Median Sale Price for a SFH rose 26.9 percent to $533,000. This is compared to $420,000 for 2020. The number of CLOSINGS dropped 12.8 percent to 355, versus 407 in 2020. PENDING sales were also down 13 percent by year’s end.
Keep in mind that Pendings and Closings were not down because it’s a bad market and no one wants to buy. On the contrary there were just not enough homes for sale across the Cape in 2021. If there was more inventory, we would have blown away 2020 numbers by a landslide! I personally sold 35 Million dollars of real estate in the first 6 months of 2021; the second half of the year there was literally nothing to sell.
On a positive ending, we are off to a new start with 2022, so let’s see where this journey takes us!