Economic Recovery in Cape Cod a Beacon of Hope for all the United States

As America prepares to vote on its path for the next four years, both sides of the political spectrum are trying to shape the debate with statistics describing how the country has recovered from the worst effects of the recession over the last four years.  But many national statistics don’t provide a true picture because a community’s health is most accurately defined by numbers from the community.

Take for example the community of Cape Cod, the easternmost point of the state of Massachusetts.  The Cape, as many in New England like to call it, builds much of its economic stability off of tourism and community development.  The recession not surprisingly left its mark on the community’s economic growth, although compared to many places across the US, the damage was fairly muted.

Joblessness is an important issue facing Americans all over the country including in Cape Cod.  Before the recession began in August 2008, the rate of people looking for work was under 4 percent.  The recession cost thousands of people their jobs edging that number up to a peak of 6.1 percent in August 2010.  But as the recovery brings tourism back to the community, people are finding work again and the jobless rate of August 2012 has dropped back to 4.9 percent.

This return of employment has helped Cape Cod’s real estate market which also struggled in the heart of the recession.  Henry DiGiacomo, CEO of Cape Cod & Islands Association of Realtors, says the worst time for housing was 2009 through 2010.  “Those interested in buying took a very conservative position and were kind of sitting on the fence.”

But DiGiacomo agrees with other realtors that homes, especially the more affordable under $200,000 homes, are selling very quickly this year.  He credits a combination of low interest rates, higher rental prices, and a willingness from sellers to lower their prices as reasons for the rapid sales.  In September 2008 the average single family home cost around $365,000 and as of last month it is down to approximately $326,000.

This is definitely good news for housing in Cape Cod since the improvements cited so far all began before the announcement of lower mortgage rates and assurance from the Feds that interest rates would remain near zero until 2015.  It’s expected that numbers for the third quarter will show further improving signs in the housing market as more residents of the Cape take advantage of the situation to upgrade their living conditions.