Cape Cod Real Estate Ends 2018 with Strong Market

The Cape Cod & Islands Association of REALTORS® has released their 2018 Annual Report on the Cape Cod real estate market, showing an all-time high in median sales price and a continuing rebound in inventory numbers.

In 2018, 5,116 single-family homes and condominiums sold for a median price of $400,000, a 5.3% increase from 2017. This is a new all-time high for median sale price for single family homes in Barnstable County. The overall number of closed sales for the year in 2018 dropped 3.9% from 2017.

“Overall, Cape Cod real estate had a strong year in 2018.” notes CCIAOR CEO Ryan Castle. “We are seeing homes sell faster – and for more – than they have at any point in the last five years or in the history of the region. The market finally started to balance out after being a strong seller’s market for months on end. Hopefully, we will see inventory continue to rise and some new housing comes onto the market to help mitigate the effects of five years of steady price increases on the year-round population, and to help ensure the long-term health of the region and the market.”

Months supply of inventory – a key measure of housing supply – rose 9.3% in 2018 to 4.7 months. While this number is still low and favors sellers (a balanced market is considered to be between 6 and 9 months of inventory), the market is trending towards a higher number of homes on the market year-over-year. In fact, new listings increased in 12 out of 16 towns in CCIAOR’s market area (Barnstable County plus Wareham), a positive sign for 2019.

2019 Forecast

CCIAOR expects that median sales price will continue to rise in 2019, though not at as rapid of a pace as in 2017 and 2018. Market conditions such as limited inventory and low new housing starts continue to favor sellers, as does Cape Cod’s enduring appeal as a year-round and seasonal destination. The rise in median sales prices will be slowed to some extent by rising interest rates and a lack of move up or downsizing inventory available to sellers.

Concurrent with the rise in sale prices, the trend of seeing fewer closed sales is likely to continue through 2019. This is due to the large volume of sales in the past few years, and not enough inventory being built or coming onto the market to replace the sold homes. Rising interest rates will likely contribute to a year-end total of fewer closed sales as well, as buyers may become more selective about their investments due to the increased cost of ownership.

With increases in inventory in most Barnstable County towns in 2018, the coming year is likely to end up as a ‘balanced market’ – favoring buyers and sellers equally. Year-over-year inventory increases of 17.2% in Brewster, 11.9% in Provincetown and 10.7% in Sandwich are hopeful signs that balance will return to the market in 2019.

For detailed town by town information, please visit

For the full 2018 annual report click here.