Homes Sales Up in February Despite Falling Inventory

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Home sale activity is unusually robust so far in 2021, according to the February housing market statistics released by the Cape Cod & Islands Association of REALTORS® this week.

Closed residential sales for February in Barnstable County were up more than 50% compared to a year ago, wrapping up the frenzied market activity from late 2020. Real estate closings trail actual activity as homes go under agreement usually 30 to 60 days before they close.

In February, 338 homes sold - 264 single-family homes and 74 condominiums. Last February, 228 homes (173 single-family homes and 55 condos).

“Demand for homes in the market is still strong, but the inventory situation is increasingly uncertain. We are not seeing listings come on the market in numbers that would make any difference in affordability or in slowing the increase in median sales price,” said Ryan Castle, CEO of the Cape Cod & Islands Association of REALTORS®.

The number of available homes for sale continued to drop to historic levels in February, pushing the Cape Cod real estate market further into unprecedented territory. With only 343 single-family homes and 146 condominiums for sale across Barnstable County, many towns are faced with very little inventory which is continuing to push prices up. Last February, there were 1,500 single-family homes and 434 condos listed for sale, a 77.1 percent decrease, and a 66.4 percent decrease, respectively.

Feb 2021 Inventory Numbers Wide Format

Sandwich and Orleans ended February with just 21 single-family homes for sale, while Yarmouth had just 22 single-family homes available. All three towns ended February 2020 with more than 100 single-family homes for sale.

“Typically we see the strongest listing numbers in March, April, and May, so hope maybe on the horizon. Until the vaccine rollout gets real traction on Cape Cod, we do not anticipate any effect on inventory to be noticeable -- and even then, we’re just being optimistic,” said Castle.

New listings in February for single-family homes were 241 and 63 for condominiums. This is a 45.2 percent decrease, and a 50 percent decrease respectively from last February, which had 440 new listings for single-family homes and 126 new listings for condominiums.

At the end of February, there were 343 single-family homes for sale and 146 condominiums for sale in the Cape Cod & Islands Multiple Listing Service.

The median sales price for February 2021 was $560,000 for single-family homes and $350,000 for condominiums -- compared to $435,000 for single-family homes and $332,500 for condominiums in last February.

“With the summer rental market looking extremely strong, the region needs to focus on market-rate housing production and availability policies if the post-COVID economic recovery is to extend beyond the hospitality sector," Castle added.

Cumulative days on market for February decreased 38.2 percent for single-family homes compared to last February, dropping from 123 days to 76 days. Condominiums had a 15.8 percent decrease in cumulative days on market compared to last February, dropping from 120 days to 101 days.

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