We have discussed much of this before, in October 2011 I posted Census 2010, Making Heads and Tails Out Of Housing “Growth” and before that in May 2011 Fun With Numbers – Actually Dennis Is Growing, During the Summer in which I discussed how Dennis added 1,481 housing units in the past decade, yet saw a drop in population and minimal change in the number of vacant homes. Essentially, what we were seeing is, as homes became available, they were being gobbled up by second home buyers.
During the recession there was a drop in demand for housing from all sectors, primary and secondary home buyers. This drop in housing demand brought housing back within range of resident workers as the discretionary spending for second homes became scarce. Housing prices took a nosedive at the start of the recession. Then stabilized over the last few years before ticking back up, about the same time population growth returned to the area, see Population Migration – New Data. This return of population to the Cape, coupled with increase discretionary spending for second home buyers is driving this increase in housing/income mismatch. If the vacation home market returns as it was in the early 2000’s, the mismatch between income and housing costs could return. If that mismatch returns we might, once again, see a return of out-migration of working families as the IRS data suggested back in 2009, County Migration Patterns – Leaving Cape Cod.
Next, some ideas on preserving (some) housing for year round residents.