Cape Cod, Massachusetts: High-End Market Watch, Year End 2023

High-End $2,000,000+ Market Highlights

  • Inventory up 6% (133 vs record low 125 last year).
  • Sales volume down 13% (203 vs 234 last year).
  • Top sale: $15,100,000. 959 SeaView Ave, Osterville.
  • Cape Cod’s high-end market continues to perform strongly despite low inventories, negative
    economic factors, and diminishing COVID-driven demand.
  • Multi-year contractor lead times hamper sales of renovations and tear-down projects.
  • As usual special properties, expertly presented, reaching out to a broad market with a strong
    value proposition, will have a competitive advantage.

Active Listings

At year end 2023, the high-end inventory increased by 6% to 133 listings compared to 113 in 2021,
125 in 2022 and the record high of 232 listings in 2015. Historically speaking, the inventory is significantly lower than the ten-year average of 172 listings.

High-End Sales

The Cape high-end market has been booming in recent years, breaking the 200 sales barrier in 2020. As expected 2023 experienced a reduction in COVID-driven demand but was supported by significant wealth in the buyer cohorts. Sales volume was down 13% with 203 sales at year-end compared to 234 sales last year, the record of 252 sales in 2021 and the ten-year average of 152 sales. While a dip like in 2009-11 is not expected, we expect that high-end sales volumes will reset to pre-COVID levels.

Year End – TOP SALE

Property: 959 SeaView Avenue • Town: Osterville • Selling price: $15,100,000
Wianno gold coast property on Nantucket Sound with sandy beach. Newer construction built in 2004 with 5,600 sq ft in the main house and an additional 1,800 sq ft in a carriage house with apartment and pool house. Listed for $16,800,000 and on the market for 17 days. Source: MLS.

Year End – Highest & Median Sale

Days on Market

Days on market for high-end sales in 2023 increased slightly to 88 from 86 last year and significantly below the ten-year average of 289. This drop in days on market in the past two years is remarkable and may reflect lower inventories and buyers acting quickly in a competitive market. The range in days on market is wide from 1 to 1,754.

Sales by Town

In 2023, all 15 towns on Cape Cod had sales at the $2,000,000+ level. The three leading towns, Chatham (38 sales), Barnstable (35 sales, with 18 in Osterville), and Falmouth (23 sales) represented 52% of the total. With Mashpee (16 sales), Harwich (15 sales) and Orleans (14 sales), these six towns had 74% of the sales. Of note in the larger Cape markets are significant increases in sales in Harwich (up 50%) and Falmouth (up 39%) and decreases in Provincetown (down 37%) and Orleans (down 33%).

Featured Properties Beyond Cape Cod:

Ipswich, MA | $12,500,000
Shelburne, VT | $14,495,000

The LandVest High-End Market Watch is a periodic review of select high-end markets in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and the Adirondacks. Market data are collected from Multiple Listing Services and do 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.