Housing boom comes to formerly middle-class Cape Cod towns

Wealthy buyers, priced out of the Hamptons and Nantucket, are driving up prices in once-affordable vacation areas

(iStock/Illustration by The Real Deal)
(iStock/Illustration by The Real Deal)

A stretch of traditionally middle-class towns on Cape Cod are experiencing a real estate boom as price spikes in enclaves like the Hamptons and Nantucket drive even wealthy buyers to more affordable alternatives.

A median-priced home in the mid-Cape region of the Massachusetts peninsula, which includes towns like Barnstable, Yarmouth and Dennis, went for $650,000 in the first quarter — up from $590,000 average a year ago, the New York Post reported.

As buyers compete for a historically thin supply of homes, more than half of those sold in the quarter went for more than their asking price and about a third went to all-cash buyers, according to the Cape Cod & Islands Association of Realtors.

“Five years ago, there were around 2,700 single-family homes for sale on Cape Cod at any given time” said Mike Karras, a William Raveis agent based in Yarmouthport. “We used to take people for marathon buyer trips, seeing eight houses in the morning and eight in the afternoon. Now you’re lucky if you can show your buyers three or four.”

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Some agents have reported selling the same homes just a couple years apart. Karras helped the sellers of 9 Orchid Lane in West Yarmouth get $299,000 for the home in November 2018. Less than two years later, in October 2020, he helped the buyers from that deal sell the home for $450,000 — a 51-percent increase.

Compass agent Cassie Fruggiero-Lyons told the Post she recently had a listing in Dennis that received eight offers and sold for $1.51 million — $200,000 over asking — before ever hitting the market.

“It was all through word of mouth,” Fruggiero-Lyons said. “This market is crazy. Things are often going within a day, and everything is selling with multiple offers.”

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[NYP] — Victoria Pruitt