Cape Cod Market Report: Q4 2016

Cape Cod Market Report for Q4 2016

Highest Dollar Volume Ever on Cape Cod

Q4 continued the strong performance of the Cape real estate market for both Price and Sales – helping 2016 achieve a record-breaking Dollar Volume.

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 Complete text for this report:


Hi, I’m Bill Silver. I’m a realtor with Cape Cod Associates in lovely downtown Harwich Port. Welcome to my Q4 Cape Cod Real Estate Market Report and Forecast.

It’s the middle of winter –and I love Cape Cod in the winter – especially the day after a snow storm. But, even without snow, Cape Cod is still a Winter Wonderland.  So, don’t miss the last slide and its video of January at Forest Beach Overlook.

Moving on, welcome to my Q4 Cape Cod Market Report and Forecast.  Q4 ended a record-breaking year for the Cape Cod real estate market – for both Price and Sales.

The data for this report is for: Single Family Homes – in Barnstable County – listed on Cape Cod and Islands MLS. Let’s get started!

Dollar Volume:

Dollar Volume is the Total Sold Dollars for the quarter. The Dollar Volume in Q4 was $659 million.

Quarter-to-Quarter, this is UP  5% from the $626 million in Q3. More interesting and more important is that Year-to-Year Dollar Volume was UP a whopping 13% from the $581 million in Q4 2015.

Dollar Volume History:

This chart shows the yearly dollar volume for the last 18 years: from 1999 through 2016.

The amazing news is the record-breaking dollar volume in 2016: $2,316,881,301 – or to be exact: Two Billion – 316 Million – 881 Thousand – and 301 Dollars. This was more than in 2004 – and makes 2016 the highest year in the history of Cape Cod real estate.

At 2.3 billion the dollar volume in 2016 was 3.7% higher than in 2004. And, 87% higher than the most recent low year – 2009.

Median Sold Price:

The median sold price in Q4 was $390 thousand dollars.

Quarter-to-Quarter, the median price was UP 1% from Q3. More interesting and more important is that, Year-to-Year, the median price was UP 2.6% from Q4 2015.

Five-Year Price History:

Here are the Quarterly Median Sold Prices since 2012. Year-to-Year, median sold prices have gone UP in 15 of the last 17 quarters. Since Q1 2012, the median sold price has gone UP 21.9%.

Price Indicators:

I also follow three other price indicators.

  1. The total number of listings Under Contract has gone UP in each of the last 7 This is a key indicator for both Price and Sales.
  2. The median Price-Per-Square-Foot went UP again in Q4. This is the 15th increase in the last 17
  3. Although the changes are subtle, Sold Price -to- Original List Price Ratio is an important indicator. It has now gone UP 7 quarters in a row.

Number of Sales:

The number of single family homes sold in Barnstable County in Q4 was 1,181. This was UP 4% from Q3. More importantly, Q4 sales were Up a whopping 13% from Q4 2015. This marks the 8th quarter in a row that sales have gone UP from the previous year.

Five-Year Sales History:

Here are the Quarterly Sales numbers since 2012. Sales for 2016 were the highest since 2004.

Typically, Quarter-to-Quarter Sales go down from Q3 to Q4. But, not this year. Sales in Q4 were UP 4% from Q3. This is only the 4th time this has happened in the last 18 years. After going Down for 4 quarters in row, Year-to-Year, Sales went UP in each of the last 9 quarters.

Sales Indicators:

It’s also interesting to look at three other market indicators that either affect the number of sales, or are affected by the number of sales.

  1. This indicator represents the total number of active listings at the END of a quarter. The end of Q4 Inventory was down 17% from Q4 2015 – and Down 33% from Q3. Key point: Compared to last year, the strong sales this year drove inventory Down in each of the last three quarters.
  2. Year-to-Year, the Absorption Rate went DOWN in each of the last 6 quarters – this is good thing for sellers even though at 5 months this indicator still says that, technically, it’s a buyer’s market. But just barely. To find a quarter with an Absorption Rate lower than 6.0 (technically a seller’s market) you have to go all the way back to Q2 2004.
  3. Year-to-Year, the Total number of listings Under Contract went UP in 9 of the last 10 quarters, including each of the last 7 Interestingly, this result is almost exactly the recent results for the # of Sales.

Forecast Review:

Before I give you my forecast for Q1 2017 – let’s review the previous forecast for Q4. My goal for these forecasts is to be within + or – 5% of the actual result.

My forecast for the median sold price in Q4 was $386,000. The actual result was: $390,000. This was 1.0 % higher than my forecast.

My forecast for number of sales in Q4 was 1,294. The actual number was lower: 1,181. This was 8.7% lower than my forecast.

Price Forecast:

I believe that the Median Sold Price will continue upward in Q1. My forecast for the median sold price in Q1 is: $382,000 dollars.

Quarter-to-Quarter, it will be Down 2.0% from Q4. This would be the 12th time in 14 years that there was a Price DIP in Q1. But, more importantly, Year-to-Year, the median sold price will be Up 11.5% from Q1 2016.

Sales Forecast:

Like each and every year, there will be a Q1 Sales DiP in 2017. My forecast for the number of sales in Q1 is: 853.

Quarter-to-Quarter, this will DiP 28% from Q4. But, overall – Year-to-Year – sales are going to be very strong in Q1. UP 21% from Q1 2016.


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Cape Real Bill

Thanks for watching – and wishing you smooth sailing on the seas of life.