Amy Harbeck's Blog May 3, 2022

‘How’s the market?’ This article provides true color about this sellers’ market and its far-reaching impacts!

Want to buy a house on Cape Cod? Better hurry!

The Cape’s housing inventory has hit a historic low. In March, 149 houses were for sale under $1 million. Two years ago, that number topped 1,000.

What you are about to read will make no sense. Unless, that is, you are one of the tortured souls trying to buy a home on the Cape — where inventory is so low that bidders are disappointed when they lose out on properties they don’t even like.

When Becky Carvalho and her husband went to see yet another house — in this case, a three-bed, two-bath Cape in Harwich, listed at $499,000 — they were delighted with the home’s most repellent features: it was so close to Route 6 they could hear the traffic from the back yard; the beach was a schlep; and, perhaps best of all, the owner smoked and the place stunk.

After taking it all in, the couple, who have been living in a too-small rental and looking to buy for nearly two years, were giddy. “We thought that would scare people off,” said Carvalho, who runs her family’s nursery in Brewster.

Alas, it didn’t. Their bid, which included an escalation clause saying they’d go as high as $575,000, was not the winner.

Inventory on the Cape was tightening even before the pandemic, but now it has dropped to “historic lows,” said Ryan Castle, chief executive officer of the Cape Cod & Islands Association of Realtors.

In March, there were only 149 homes for sale on the Cape for under $1 million — down from 1,045 in March 2020, Castle said.

In the over $1 million category, there were 303 houses in March of this year, down from 1,544 in 2020, according to Castle.