ORLEANS – It’s been slim pickings inside the Cape housing market for quite a while, the past year at least.
The inventory of properties for sale across the region in 2019 plummeted by more than 18 percent, versus the previous year, according to newly released, annual data from the Cape Cod & Islands Association of Realtors.
Through last year every town covered by the association’s statistical reports saw declines in the number of homes for sale, except Orleans, which posted a 25 percent gain over 2018.
The most substantial drops were seen in Dennis, 36.4 percent, followed by Harwich, 32 percent and Falmouth, 21 percent.
Across the Cape and Islands the end-of-year inventory of available properties in 2019 was 1,723, compared to 2,070 in 2018. The number is more stark when compared with earlier years – for example, in 2015 the end-of-year inventory was 3,276. (See chart, Page A2.)
Joe Arnao, area manager for the Lower and Outer Cape at the William Ravies real estate agency, said there are plenty of people who want to sell, and downsize from a bigger house, but can’t find an appropriate/affordable smaller house or condo to move into.
Demand, he noted, is pushing up prices on smaller properties, affecting not only the downsizers but also those looking to buy their first home.
There is a market of people ready to move up, into those bigger houses, he said, but the inventory isn’t there.
“It’s a stalemate,” said Arnao.
There is a lot of demand, he added.
“We have three sets of buyers: investors, primary homeowners and…