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2021 Mid-Year Market Report

Each month we crunch data from the South Shore and Cape Cod Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Services (MLS) to help our clients and community better understand the state of the local real estate market as we continue through the first half of 2021. 

This report is for single family homes in Plymouth County and Barnstable County. Please note Condos, Multi-family homes and land are excluded. 

New Listings: New listings inventory continues to remain down by 58% from this time last year.  In 2020 - 928 listings were available in Plymouth County as of 6/10/21 whereas there are only 414 homes on the market as of today.  There was a decrease of 8.62% in the number of new listings in Barnstable County as compared to 2020.

Price Changes: It continues to be a Sellers market due to limited inventory throughout Plymouth County.  Sellers are still not in a market where they need to be negotiating and they're are getting more money for their homes than they would have at this time last year. 158 homes changed their prices last year vs. 375 YTD.  Price change data is currently unavailable for Barnstable County.

Pending Contracts: As of June 10th, there are 52 more homes under contract vs. 2020. The average days on market has continued to decrease as demand remains high in the current market. Pending data is currently unavailable for Barnstable County.

Closed Sales:  The market has continued to be extremely active even with limited inventory.  That has not stopped as we continue through the second quarter of 2021.  There was only a variance of negative 29 units in 2021 vs. 2020.  The number of listings sold in Barnstable County is up 19% as of 6/10/21.

Mortgages: Mortgage rates have leveled out and are remaining consistent week over week.  Readily available mortgage types continue to be Conventional (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), Government (FHA and VA with tighter FICO score requirements),  USDA, Mass Housing, Renovation and Jumbo (although some lenders don't have access to some of the bank investors that are doing them).  First time home buyer rates remain low right now and many are finding that they are qualifying for Conventional Loans setting them at a better advantage for winning offers.

We are here to help: We are here for you to answer any questions and help you find solutions and possibilities during this insanely busy market that we are experiencing.  Please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected] or call 508-746-0033.


Interest rates are going up and prices are going up.  When we start to describe the market it is always "is this buyer’s versus seller’s market." This goes all the way back to 1999. Do not worry, we’re still very much in a seller’s market. And we do not foresee a shift at that to shift to a buyer’s market any time soon. But expect some of the frenzy to cool off in the coming months in the second half of this year. 

However, no doubt as we start to shift our turn – shift we will shift focus from buyers to sellers – no doubt American home equity is skyrocketed. This is the latest data from CoreLogic. The average gain in equity on a mortgaged home over the past year - $33,400. Significant gains in equity across the country. 

Read more HERE.

Here is a quote that we have from J.P. Morgan  “Homebuyers - interest rates are still historically low though they are inching up. Housing prices have spiked during the last 6 to 9 months but we don’t expect them to fall soon. And we believe that they are more likely to keep rising. If you’re looking to purchase a new home, conditions now may be better than 12 months hence.”

 With all this compelling information, if you’re thinking about buying – now is THE time to buy. We talked about that with just the appreciation that’s forecasted in the market. Interest rates forecasted in the market. And in getting that word out to the buyers that we’re working with is crucially important right now considering where they’re at. 

We are in the market that expects a turn coming soon. this is truthfully because it’s already happening. We can already start to see buyer demand wane. Don’t let this turn fool you on the front end because the market’s still hyper-competitive. That’s the reality where we sit right now. Summer is when serious buyers commit 100%. 

Here is an in depth look at forecasts and we will talk about what we see from experts. Some of the challenges we could see in the second half of the year.

First, we’ll start off with rates. Mortgage rate projections. The quick answer here is mortgage rates are projected to go up. When we look at this – by the middle of next year this average, all of these four forecasters, about three and a half percent. A little over three and a half percent. And is it going to be there? Is it going to be a little bit higher or a little bit lower? Time will tell. The only question really is by how much our rate is going to up and by when. And that’s what we’re dealing with. 

Certainly, if you’re somebody who’s buying right now – we are here to help you understand that the forecast for rates is going to up and why. It’s going to cost more in the future to borrow the money to buy a home. What about prices? Let’s look at the most up to date forecasts for prices going into the second half of this year. The average of these five forecasters – Zelman, NBA, NAR, Fannie & Freddie – 8.9%. 

The one thing all of these forecasters have in common is that every one of them has raised their forecasts as we’ve gone throughout the year. 

We started off this year – the average of these forecasters was about five percent. Really that was based upon more inventory coming into market which we have yet to truly see for a while now. Now they’ve upleveled their forecasts knocking on the door again of another year of close to 10% if we don’t see double-digit appreciation in the year. It is now extremely likely that they would upgrade their forecasts as we go throughout the year again. However, it is all going to be dependent upon inventory. It is always important to  keep an eye on that. 

Overall, We need more homes available for those who want to buy them. As we move into 2022, these forecasts as well. As less than or better than what we saw last year at six and a half million homes. So we look forward to amazing home sales for this year and for next year also.  

Housing Affordability

When it comes to affordability what stands out to you are the homes that were so, so affordable during the housing crisis. Remember the way you read this – the higher the index, the higher number, the more affordable homes were. And you can see the years when distressed properties dominated the market, homes were very, very affordable.

So when somebody mentions – homes certainly aren’t as affordable today as what they’ve been in the past. Your first question should be – as compared to when? As compared to the last two years? Well yeah I can see that here graphically. Homes aren’t as affordable today as the last two years. But three years ago? No they’re actually more affordable. This is a great thing! 

Now people may ask about time prior to the housing crisis? They’re actually more affordable today. The time during the housing crisis? Not as affordable. So we want to be educated on this. We want to be able to have those perspectives. 

“Many find it hard to believe, but housing is actually undervalued in most markets. And the gap between house buying power and sales prices indicates there’s room for further house price growth in the months to come.” So what’s he saying? There’s room for homes to go up in price. As they measure affordability, house buying and houses are actually undervalued in most markets. Not something we’re hearing a lot out there. But when you start to look at the numbers, that’s very apparent.

 Now, how we’ve always looked at this – I keep in current matters, and bridge builders is – looking at Housing Affordability Index. If we look at the housing affordability index – that’s produced by NAR – you can see where we stand today. Now, if you haven’t seen this, the higher the index is the more affordable a home is. And where do we stand today? We stand in a very, very good position. Homes being more affordable almost going all the way back to 2012, 2013 in what the dollar will buy. 

Now what stands out are the area in the middle there - where for the years were distressed properties dominated the market after the housing crash. But very, very good affordability relative to what the dollar will buy. If you want to look at that visually, the percentage of median income needed to purchase a median price home historically is about 21.2%. Back in the housing crash that rose to about 25.4%, and today we sit at 14.4% on average. The median income needed to purchase the median priced home. 

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The ability to build equity. All the non-financial benefits that we know. The Gallop survey has come out. And Americans’ choice of best of long-term investment has been real estate. This 41% far outproducing stocks. In Gallup’s poll, the 41% choosing real estate is the highest selecting of any of the five investments options in the 11 years past that Gallup’s asked this question. 

So important to remember – remember that graphically you can just see just how high that is with Americans choice for the best long term investment being real estate going all the way back to 2011. Coming out of the last downturn in 2008 and 2009, we saw folks kind of say, “Is buying a home what we want to do?” And whereas we sit we sit today, people saying, “You know what? The demand – the folks that want to buy a home like we just talked about – is at an all-time high. Very, very different in two different – you know one being a pandemic. One being a housing crash. Different scenarios. I’m not saying they were the scenarios. But both crises – coming out of this crisis we’re seeing a very, very different opinion, approach and desire towards real estate. 


What are your Biggest Concerns in 2021?


In the Town of Plymouth, home sales have increased through the month of June from 29 homes in May. The Average Days on Market remained relatively steady at less than one months time. The the Average Sale Price has been steady around 500k the last three months. We are seeing more homes on the market in June as the current homes for sale has increased by 9. 

In the Town of Hingham, the number of new homes entering the market has remained somewhat consistent. The Average Sale Price has remained in the million dollar bracket.  More homes sold in the month of June than they did in May bringing number of homes sold over what they were at in February .

In the Town of Scituate, the Average Sale Price has increased by 100k although with less offerings in the last 30 days. Home sales have stayed relatively the same month over month as well as less days on the market for the month of June. 

In the Town of Marshfield, the number of homes sold remained consistent from January through June. Properties spent much more time on the market, increasing from 9 in May to 20 in June. The Average Sales Price has increased to $714K compared to March $575K. 

In the Town of Kingston, the number of new offerings has increased slightly over the last three months. The number of homes sold has increased since the month of May.  The Average Sale Price has continued to stay relevantly in the high $500K to the mid-$600K range. 

In the Town of Duxbury, the Average Sale Price of homes has increased once again into the million dollar bracket in April, May, and June. Available inventory has remained consistent. The number of new offerings in the last 30 days has increased by 9. This tells us that Sellers are continuing to enter the market as we head further into Q2.  The Average Days on Market decreased slightly but has remained around 9-15. 

In the Town of Norwell, the Average Days on Market have significantly improved to 8 days compared to May which was 38.  The number of homes for sale has increased since the month of May The Average Sale Price although has remained in the $900k bracket over the last two months. 

In the Town of Cohasset, the amount of available inventory has remained consistent over the last six months which shows a steady market.  The number of days on market has increased above 30 days.  The Average Sale Price has remained in the $1MIL bracket. .

In the Town of Hanover, the number of homes sold increased from 7 in April. The Average Days on Market has decreased significantly from 76 days in April to 12 days in June.  The average sales price has increased from $600K to $750K. 

In the Town of Pembroke, the current amount of available inventory continues to be under 10.  There have been only 2 offerings within the last 30 days which could likely be attributed to the overall lack in available inventory.  Sellers seem as though they are simply not ready to place their homes on the market in Pembroke. The Average Days on Market decreased significantly from 43 in April to 13 in June. The Average Sale Price has stayed relatively in the mid-$500K.

In the Town of Hull, the number of homes sold has increased increased by 7 since April. Homes entering the market have remained consistent and there is still a very limited amount of  available inventory.

The Average Days on Market have dramatically decreased from 58 days in February to 8 days in June. The Average Sale Price has increased from $499k in February to over $600k last month.

In the Town of Bourne, the amount of available inventory has leveled off and remains consistent month over month but has increased by 15 for June.  The Average Days on Market has decreased significantly from 58 days in March, which shows us that while the buyer demand is strong, there are simply not enough homes available. The average sale price has increased from $400K in May to $738K June. 

In the Town of Sandwich, the Average Days on Market increased while the number of homes sold remained fairly consistent.  Currently there are 35 homes for sale compared to last months 24 meaning the inventory has stayed relatively the same. 

In the Town of Mashpee, the Average Sale Price decreased from $1.2M in February back to where it was at in January.  The Average Days on Market have decreased significantly compared to March of 111 days. The number of homes sold has remained consistent month over month but has increased by 18 since the month of June.

In the Town of Falmouth, the Average Sale Price has decreased from $986K in April. With limited inventory in most towns, there are still a good amount of new homes entering the market as we moved through the month of June although resulting in a decrease the past month. The number of homes sold has increased from the 30's to the 50's.

In the Town of Chatham, current homes for sale has increased from 20 homes in March.  The Average Sale Price has remained in the million dollar bracket over the last seven months. Average days on market has significantly decreased from 100 days in April to 21 days in June. 

In the Town of Yarmouth Port, inventory has decreased since the month of April compared to April's 51 new offerings. The average sale price had decreased along with the inventory. 

If your town wasn't included in this report, 

click here and let us know.  We'll be happy to get you that data! 

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*Market Information obtained from MLSpin, Cape and Islands MLS and Keeping Current Matters*

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