The following blog is by Paul Roycraft, a recent home buyer on the Outer Cape.Posted by David Newell, Realtor for Mr. Roycraft at The Real Estate Company.
Reflecting back on 2008, the real estate market on Cape Cod has been unlike any other in recent memory. Homes under $400,000 have comprised the vast majority of closings, outselling higher-priced properties more than 5 to 1 of late. The “cute little house in a good area” whose price had escalated beyond the means of many buyers throughout the real estate boom years of 2003 – 2007 has become a reality once again. The recent price retrenchment and the breadth of inventory available across all price ranges has helped to further open up the Cape Cod housing market to a new category of buyer – the idyllic lifestyle relocator.
That this is a “new” category is not entirely correct – Cape Cod has long been a haven for artists and chefs and owners of small boutiques and other businesses who seek the unique quality of life offered here. What is new is that a different type of relocator is emerging – the telecommuter – who typically brings his or her job with them from off-Cape.
As technological advances in the Internet, cellular broadband, and collaboration software make telecommuting more feasible, companies will strive to hire and maintain the best workforce available to them, regardless of location. The office that formerly needed to be in or near a large city can now be in a home overlooking a small pond, conservation area, or be within steps of the local town-center coffee shop (often with its own wi-fi). The expansion of the airport in Hyannis, plus the proximity of Logan and TF Green also makes Cape Cod attractive for those who still need to travel for business on occasion.
Clients relocating from Boston, perhaps still occasionally commuting to offices there, comprise the majority of this type of buyer so far. However, the desire to leave behind the crowding and expense of major metropolitan areas is a phenomenon that is occurring across the country. TREC has sold to clients relocating from outside of Massachusetts who will become full-time Cape Cod residents while continuing to work for their current off-Cape employers, and we expect this trend to grow.
Advances in the tools available to REALTORS including MLS Propertyfinder alerts, detailed satellite imagery to view properties and neighborhoods, and the ease of taking and e-mailing digital photographs has facilitated working with remote clients. The use of these tools in addition to the extensive knowledge, experience, and personal touch of the local REALTOR will be increasingly important in 2009 and beyond.