MA Real Estate News, Cape Cod: High-End Market Watch, First Half, 2012

Cape Cod is internationally famous as a summer resort area and is increasingly popular for retirement living. It features miles of beaches, natural attractions, historic sites, art galleries, and four star restaurants and hotels. Outdoor activities include world class yachting, coastal and deep-sea fishing, numerous public and private golf courses, and a wide variety of other informal summer sports. The Cape is just 75 miles from Logan Airport in Boston, Massachusetts and T.F. Green Airport in Providence, Rhode Island. Executive jet services are available at the Hyannis airport and there are several other smaller airports.Cape Cod is divided into four regions: Upper Cape, Mid Cape, Lower Cape, and Outer Cape, each including several towns and villages. Upper Cape towns include Bourne, Sandwich, Falmouth, and Mashpee. Mid Cape towns include Barnstable, Dennis, and Yarmouth. Lower Cape towns include Harwich, Brewster, Chatham, and Orleans. Outer Cape towns include Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, and Provincetown.



On Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the inventory of high-end listings in the first half of 2012 shrank slightly from the previous year at this time, but still is at nearly record levels (265 listings vs. 271 at the same point in 2011). At the very high-end, there are 37 listings over $5 million and 13 over $10 million. In the first quarter of 2012 there was a flurry of activity with 13 sales compared to 6 in the first quarter of 2011. Unfortunately this pace was not sustainable in the second quarter, but it was the same as the second quarter of 2011 with 14 sales. As a result, first half high-end sales grew significantly from 20 in the first half of 2011 to 27 this year. The peak for first half sales was 44 sales in 2006. Overall, the Cape Cod market continues to underperform and suffer from bloated inventory, particularly at the highest levels. At the $5,000,000 plus level, there are 37 listings and 4 sales in the first half of 2012. There are 13 listings above $10,000,000 and no sales in the first half; however, there were sales at $8,600,000 and a LandVest sale at $6,000,000. Across New England LandVest brokers reported similar erratic behavior with generally a stronger first quarter and weakness in the second quarter.

HIGHEST AND MEDIAN SALE, $2,000,000+, FIRST HALF, 2000-2012

In the first half of 2012 the top sale on Cape Cod was $8.6 million for a beachfront property on Bayberry Way in Osterville that was on the market for 639 days. The next highest sale was $6,000,000 for Mill Farm, a saltwater farm on 16 acres in Yarmouth Port. The median value for high-end sales in the first half of 2012 was $3.1 million, about on par with median sale prices over the past decade. The high-end market on Cape Cod is predominately in the $2-$3 million range. In the first half of 2012, there were 27 sales above $2.0 million. Of these sales 18 of 27 were below $3 million and 23 of 27 were below $4 million.

DAYS ON MARKET, SALES, $2,000,000+, FIRST HALF, 2000-2012

Days on market for high-end properties sold during the first half of 2012 were reduced modestly for the second year to 493 days compared to the record of 589 days for the first half of 2010. For 2000-2009, the average days on market for sales in the first half of the year ranged from 90 to 226 days, generally increasing over time with a significant jump in 2010.

SALES BY TOWN, $2,000,000+, FIRST HALF, 2000-2012

Starting around 2002 the high-end market on Cape Cod broadened as the perennial top markets were perceived as being too expensive and as buyers bid up the prices of special properties in other towns. By 2006, 13 of the 15 towns on Cape Cod were recording sales above $2 million. In the first half of 2010, however, there was a substantial contraction in the market with only 5 towns recording high-end sales. In the first half of 2011, the market had broadened again with an additional 4 towns recording single high-end sales. Cape Cod towns with high-end sales in the first half of 2012 include Chatham (8), Barnstable (Osterville 4) (6), Mashpee (4), Harwich (3), Orleans (2), Bourne (1), Falmouth (1), Truro (1), and Yarmouth Port (1).


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The LandVest High-End Market Watch is a periodic review of select high-end markets in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and the Adirondacks. Market data is collected from Multiple Listing Services and does not include private listings. LandVest makes no representation as to the accuracy of the data and therefore is not responsible for any actions taken as a result of use of or reliance on this information.