May 2021 Cape Cod Market Report

We are all expecting a shift in the market. The question is whether that shift will be gradual or quick, however the frenzied pace of the market we saw in the spring cannot last forever.

We know real estate data will not reflect the shift until it has already occurred as the data tracks events that have already happened - homes going under contract, price decreases, new listings and sold data. The real predictive data is in showings, offers, accepted price offers - data that the Multiple Listing Service is not set up to collect.

For example, the amount of homes with accepted offers per month are down from what we normally see this time of the year - the question is the dip a decrease in demand or a reflection of the lack of inventory? It may be both, but the data isn’t showing which it is just yet.

What we are tracking:

Price decreases: We are starting to review the number of properties that have price decreases per week to see when listing prices are perhaps starting to get too high for what buyers are willing to pay.

New listings: If we are going to see a return of inventory, the market is going to have to absorb new listings at a pace similar to 2019, rather than 2020, when listings per month were artificially suppressed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

May 2021 New Listings

New listings for May, while better than May 2020, were still down significantly from the last pre-pandemic May (2019), suggesting that sellers are still not willing to sell at a clip that is more typical for our market. However, the monthly gap between 2019 new listings to 2021 is getting tighter - offering a glimmer of inventory hope on the horizon.

How the market performed in May:

Year to date (through May), the Cape Cod real estate market is outpacing last year’s record-breaking year. However, it is important to remember that last May was the calm before the storm. Looking back, we saw a seismic shift in the real estate market on May 17, 2020 that has continued to this day. It will be hard for the rest of 2021 to keep pace with what we have seen so far to finish ahead of 2020, but the jury is still out.

May 2021 Key Metrics

Median sales price continues to be high as we’ve seen both demand increase and supply decrease leading to higher prices.

For the properties that closed in May - an astonishing 63% closed above list price - fueling the 104.5% of list price received for closings in May. This is reflective of agents being cautious in the pricing or the market surprising even the best agents, but probably a little bit of both.

“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 a 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®.

Full Market Report

According to preliminary data released last week by the Cape Cod & Islands Association of REALTORS® (CCIAOR), 438 homes sold in May, 347 single-family homes and 91 condominiums. Median sales price was $630,000 for single-family homes and $350,000 for condominiums. Last May, 301 homes (241 single-family homes and 60 condos) sold at a median price of $454,500 for single-family homes and $266,392 for condominiums. An astonishing 63% of properties closed above list price in May - fueling the 104.5% of list price received for closings in May, reflecting the market’s unpredictability for even the best, most seasoned agents.

Sales pending at the end of May were 436 for single-family homes and 117 for condominiums – a 10.7 percent increase for single-family and a 37.6 percent increase for condominiums, which will show up in closed home sales in the coming months. Last May, there were 394 pending single-family homes and 85 pending condominiums.

New listings in May for single-family homes were 511 and 116 for condominiums. This is a 9.9 percent increase, and a 11.5 percent increase respectively from last May, which had 465 new listings for single-family homes and 104 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 May, 2019 (the last pre-pandemic May for which data is available) and May, 2021 is beginning to show signs of closing, offering some hope that the inventory shortage may be beginning to ease.

At the end of May, there were 448 single-family homes for sale and 144 condominiums for sale in the Cape Cod & Islands Multiple Listing Service. Last May, there were 1,537 single-family homes and 457 condos listed for sale, a 70.9 percent decrease, and a 68.5 percent decrease, respectively.

Cumulative days on market for May decreased 62 percent for single-family homes compared to last May, dropping from 100 days to 38 days. Condominiums had a 57.3 percent decrease in cumulative days on market compared to last May, dropping from 110 days to 47 days.

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