August 2021 Cape Cod Market Report

Market Analysis

The real estate market continued its settling to pre-pandemic levels of activity, while prices stayed high during August, according to the latest report from the Cape Cod & Islands Association of Realtors on the Barnstable County housing market.

“The dramatic shifts in price and activities that were the hallmarks of Cape Cod real estate over the past year and a half have subsided, and we’re returning to pre-pandemic levels of activity for this time of the year. However, the fact that there are very few houses for sale are still keeping prices high right now,” said Ryan Castle, CCIAOR’s CEO.

What we are looking at: Even with less activity, the available inventory is staying low. Barnstable County had only 1.4 months supply of homes on the market at the end of August. That means even with the decreased activity, it would take only about 6 weeks to sell all available homes for sale. That is compared to 2.1 months last August.

During the frenzied spring months, the Cape Cod real estate market dropped to just three weeks of supply on the market based on the higher activity.

Prices are staying high: The pandemic ushered new buyers into the marketplace who are flush with more buying power than buyers in the past. So far, they appear to have stayed active in the market and are part of keeping median sales price above $600,000 for August.

Median sales price continues to be sustained by low inventory, finishing the month at $619,000, an increase of 13.8% year-over-year. Price growth has leveled off, bringing some normalcy back to the market and giving buyers at all price points a bit more negotiating power and predictability than we saw earlier in the year. The combination of more accurate list prices and lower overall market activity has tempered the trend towards bidding wars and runaway sales prices, though depending on price point and location, buyers should still expect to be in multi-offer situations and as such make their first offer a serious, real offer.

The Two Big Statistics: Two of the most telling statistics we saw during the real estate boom was the number of cash sales and the percentage of homes that went above asking price. Both continued their downward trend after a meteoric rise. This is more evidence pointing to the market leveling off, and that spring closings have raised list prices to be more reflective of the real price of the property in today’s market.

Aug Cash Pct graphic

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According to preliminary data released last week by the Cape Cod & Islands Association of REALTORS® (CCIAOR), 454 homes sold in August, 378 single-family homes and 76 condominiums. Median sales price was $619,00 for single-family homes and $402,000 for condominiums. Last August, 662 homes (515 single-family homes and 147 condos) sold at a median price of $544,000 for single-family homes and $362,500 for condominiums. An astonishing 51% of properties closed above list price in August - fueling the 100.5% of list price received for closings in August, reflecting the market’s unpredictability for even the best, most seasoned agents.

Sales pending at the end of August were 428 for single-family homes and 117 for condominiums – a 29.5 percent decrease for single-family and a 22 percent decrease for condominiums, which will show up in closed home sales in the coming months. Last August, there were 607 pending single-family homes and 150 pending condominiums.

New listings in August for single-family homes were 458 and 126 for condominiums. This is a 13.9 percent decrease, and a 13.1 percent decrease respectively from last August, which had 532 new listings for single-family homes and 145 new listings for condominiums. While new listings are still well off the pace needed for a balanced real estate market, the gap between new listings from August, 2019 (the last pre-pandemic August for which data is available) and August, 2021 is beginning to show signs of closing, offering some hope that the inventory shortage August be beginning to ease.

“In a market that has seen this kind of increase that can not be sustained over a long period, it’s important as you look for an REALTOR® that helps you sell or buy - you seek one who is knowledgeable about today’s market as it’s a moving target,” said Ryan Castle, CEO of the Cape Cod & Islands Association of REALTORS®.

At the end of August, there were 535 single-family homes for sale and 162 condominiums for sale in the Cape Cod & Islands Multiple Listing Service. Last August, there were 1,050 single-family homes and 355 condos listed for sale, a 49 percent decrease, and a 54.4 percent decrease, respectively.

Cumulative days on market for August decreased 70.7 percent for single-family homes compared to last August, dropping from 99 days to 29 days. Condominiums had a 67 percent decrease in cumulative days on market compared to last August, dropping from 355 days to 162 days.

Data released reflects all single-family homes and condominiums in the Cape Cod & Islands Multiple Listing Service for Barnstable County.