Spurred By Pandemic, Buyers Scoop Up Homes And Massachusetts Prices Climb Higher

Since March, the spike in sale prices for single-family homes on Cape Cod was dramatic, even compared to a general increase in prices statewide. (Courtesy Massachusetts Association of Realtors)

For most people, buying a home is not an easy thing to do. But Jennifer Brogan didn’t think it would be this hard.

“I was hoping it would be like those HGTV episodes where you see like three houses and you get to pick the one you like the best, but that did not happen,” she said with a laugh. “It had to be almost your full-time job.”

Brogan works as a social worker in Middleborough. For decades, she has dreamed of buying a home on Cape Cod — a place where she can be near her mom, and where she’d have a little more space for herself and her adult son, who has autism. This past spring, she began trying to make that dream a reality.

In hindsight, it’s hard to imagine how her timing could have been worse.

For months, folks like her have been competing with a wave of buyers from Boston, New York, and Connecticut. According to real estate brokers on the Cape, many of those buyers are wealthier folks, often looking for a second home, or younger professionals with high-paying jobs they can do from home.

Week after week, Brogan scoured listings and visited properties, only to see them scooped up within hours.

And it’s not just the Cape. In many parts of the state, it’s gotten harder to buy a home, due in part to city-dwellers who’ve migrated outwards in search of a place to ride out the pandemic. Real estate brokers interviewed by WBUR said that regions such as the Berkshires, and cities such as Worcester have seen major upticks in sales activity.

But the spike in home sales is especially acute for Cape Cod. In September, the number of homes sold in the Cape and Islands region was up 49% compared to the same period last year, according to data from the Massachusetts Association of Realtors.

And while the influx of people is arguably good for an area that’s struggled to attract year-round residents, some worry it is also making it more difficult for people to afford living there.

Read the rest of this story at WBUR’s website.