Cape Cod | Massachusetts High-End Market Watch, Q1-Q3 2020

Market Highlights


  • Inventory down 12% (226 vs 252 last year).
  • Sales volume up 47% (record 131 vs record 89 last year).
  • Top sale: $20,000,000, 187 Penzance Road, Woods Hole.
  • Cape Cod’s high-end market lagged thru Q2 and exploded in Q3 with 86 sales vs 31 last year.
  • COVID-19 is increasing demand and pricing premiums for special “refuge” properties.
  • As usual, expert presentation, broad market reach, and a strong value proposition provide a competitive advantage.

Active Listings

At the end of the third quarter, the high-end inventory decreased by 12% to 226 listings compared to 252 last year and the record of 283 listings in 2015. Historically speaking, the inventory is tight compared to the ten-year average of 246 listings. At the very high $5mm+ end of the market, there has been a significant 32% growth in listings from Q2 to Q3 (34 to 45).

High-End Sales

Cape Cod’s high-end market lagged thru Q2 and exploded in Q3 with 86 sales vs 31 last year. For the first three quarters, sales volume was up by 47% with a record 131 sales compared to a record of 89 sales in the first half of 2020 and compared to the ten-year average of 71 sales. The very high $5mm+ end of the market was dead thru the first half with only 2 sales compared to 10 last year. In Q3 it recovered smartly, adding 14 sales for a total of 16 sales for Q1-Q3.

LandVest brokers working in second-home markets across New England continue to report an increase in buyer interest in having a country refuge, but a decrease in inventory, and upward pressure on pricing for properties with special “refuge” qualities.

Q1-Q3 – Top Sale

Property: 187 Penzance Road • Town: Woods Hole (Falmouth) • Selling price: $20,000,000.
Trophy “refuge” property within the gated community of Penzance Point, 10-acre peninsula with panoramic views of Woods Hole Passage, 1993 residence with 6,923 square feet, plus guesthouse, boathouse, and a small beach, 35 days on market, listed for $25,000,000.

Highest & Median Sale

Days on Market

Days on market for high-end sales in Q1-Q3 decreased slightly to 345 from 365 last year, and are below the ten-year average of 393. The range in days on market is wide, from 3 to 6 years. Through the first-half, sales were happening more quickly with an average of 251 days on market.

Sales by Town

In Q1-Q3, all 15 towns on Cape Cod had sales at the $2,000,000+ level. The three leading towns: Barnstable (69% in Osterville), Chatham, and Falmouth together had 71 sales compared to 38 sales last year. In the first half, Barnstable had dropped to 6 sales from 15 last year, but by the end of Q3 turned in a record 32 sales, twice its ten-year average. Mashpee and Orleans also turned in strong increases with 11 and 16 sales, more than twice their ten-year averages.

For additional information about LandVest’s brokerage, real estate consulting, and appraisal services, please contact:

Stewart Young | | 617-359-8930 or
Jamie Crowley | | 508-982-4029

Click here to see available Cape Cod Real Estate listings.