Cape Cod | Massachusetts High-End Market Watch, Year End 2020

Market Highlights

  • Inventory down 16% (162 vs 193 last year).
  • Sales volume up 93% (Record 226 vs record 117 last year).
  • Top Sale: $20,000,000, 187 Penzance Road, Woods Hole.
  • Cape Cod’s high-end market lagged thru the Q2 and exploded in the second half.
  • COVID-19 increased demand for special “refuge” properties, but buyers struggled with reduced inventory and premium pricing.
  • As usual, expert presentation, broad market reach, and a strong value proposition provide a competitive advantage.

Active Listings

At year end, the high-end inventory decreased by 16% to 162 listings compared to 193 last year and the record of 232 listings in 2015. Historically speaking, the inventory is tight compared to the ten-year average of 194 listings. At the very high $5mm+ end of the market, listings grew 32% from Q2 to Q3 (34 to 45), but fell back to 31 at year end.

High-End Sales

Cape Cod’s high-end market lagged thru Q2 and then exploded with a 5-fold increase in sales in the second half. At year end, sales volume was up 93% with a record 226 sales compared to a record of 117 sales last year and compared to the ten-year average of 104 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 the second half, it recovered smartly, adding 24 sales for a total of 26 sales at year end. LandVest brokers working in second-home markets across New England reported an increase in buyer interest in having a country escape, but a decrease in inventory and upward pressure on pricing for properties with special “refuge” qualities. A strong backlog of properties under agreement augers for a strong first quarter of 2021.

Year End – 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.

187 Penzance Road, Woods Hole (Falmouth) – Top Sale

Highest & Median Sale

Days on Market

Thru the first half, days on market for high-end sales were significantly lower than the 10-year average. By year-end, days on market had decreased slightly to 317 from 345 last year and are below the ten-year average of 367. The range in days on market is wide from 1 day to 12 years.

Sales by Town

In 2020, all 15 towns on Cape Cod had sales at the $2,000,000+ level. The four leading towns: Barnstable (69% in Osterville), Chatham, Orleans, and Falmouth all had record sales totaling 150 sales compared to 71 sales last year. In the first half, Barnstable had dropped to 6 sales from 15 last year, but by year-end turned in a record 54 sales, more than twice its 10-year average. Osterville surged as well with 37 sales compared to 12 last year. Orleans was extraordinary with 29 sales compared to 9 last year, more than four times its 10-year average.

Yarmouth | $4,750,000
WEST END OCEAN VIEW | Cuttyhunk Island | $1,995,000
THE JACQUELINE ONASSIS ESTATE Martha’s Vineyard | $65,000,000

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

Stewart Young | ( | 781-405-3174
or click here to view Stewart’s current Real Estate listings.