Cape Cod has become one of the hottest neighborhoods in the state as buyers seek more space.
Despite the turbulent year that was 2020, Massachusetts home sales skyrocketed in figures that haven’t been seen since 2004, but the sudden and dramatic change caused by the COVID-19 pandemic raised challenges for both prospective buyers and sellers.
According to a report by WBUR, 61,469 single-family homes were sold last year, amounting to a 3.9 percent increase from the previous year’s total. As demand increased, prices soared, bringing the annual median sale price up by 11.4 percent at $455,000.
December of 2020 was the cherry on top for the record-setting year. A total of 6,410 single-family homes were sold in that month alone -- a whopping 28.6 percent increase from December 2019. Median sale prices hit an all-time high for the month, which according to The Warren Group CEO Tim Warren, was the sixth month in a row with a median sale price higher than $450,000.
Nationwide stay-at-home orders and strict COVID-19 restrictions pushed demand as professionals and families sought more space for home offices, home schooling and hobbies. As Warren states in the article, “the more time they spend at home, the more they think about the home and some ask what they want to change.”
The pandemic also caused a surge in relocation from congested city life towards vacation-friendly destinations more suited to sedentary living. Cape Cod and the Berkshires were particularly popular in Massachusetts, but just a few months shy of 2021, rapidly-rising home prices ushered state-wide concerns for the real estate market. Prices rose by at least 14 percent for five consecutive months, and Warner considers these figures to be “unsustainable.”
"I hope we see the market cool and consolidate its gains before we create a bubble in prices as we did in 2005,” he is quoted. “The collapse of the market in 2006 and beyond was very painful.”
Last week, Governor Charlie Baker signed a $626 million economic development bill, which includes a housing production measure for local zoning changes, along with other initiatives designed to escalate housing near MBTA stations.
Read the full story via WBUR.
Photography by: John Greim