By Kimberly Blanton, Globe Staff, February 16, 2006
Cape Cod's housing market was hit harder by declining home sales last year than any other Massachusetts region, as buyers held back in hopes that prices for vacation homes would drop.
Sales of single-family homes on the Cape fell 14.5 percent, to 3,986 in 2005 from 4,633 in 2004, according to final, year-end figures released yesterday by the Massachusetts Association of Realtors, which include the first regional sales breakdowns.
That compared with a 3.2 percent drop in sales across Massachusetts; that is a revision of the association's preliminary report showing a 3.5 percent drop statewide.
The Cape was more sensitive to rising interest rates and economic disruptions, such as higher oil prices, because purchases of retirement and vacation homes -- the biggest segment of that market -- are entirely discretionary. While a growing family may have no choice but to move into a larger home or baby boomer couples may be anxious to downsize, buyers of second homes have nothing but time...
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