Regional Housing Market Analysis for Barnstable County, Massachusetts, 2017


The Cape Cod Commission

The Cape Cod Commission recognizes that a balanced housing market is a critical component to a strong and sustainable economy.  As safe and decent housing becomes out of reach for middle-income resident’s, more employees will migrate off Cape for work, which puts pressure on existing businesses. Cape Cod’s housing market is primarily influenced by its aging demographics and seasonal economy.  Crane Associates was hired to produce a foundational, fact-based analysis on the housing market and to provide a 10-year forecast of housing supply and demand for all income levels. The work involved creating a new and independent economic and demographic forecast model specific for Barnstable County.  The model produced forecasts of population by age, workforce, employment rates, household formation rates, household incomes and housing unit supply for each of the 15 municipalities and the whole county.  Then we calculated the gap between supply of housing at different price points, and the demand for housing that is obtainable at 30% of a household’s median income. The results show the number of housing units that the county is short for different tenure and income levels in each municipality.  It also shows the shortage in wages in several popular job types and the wages increases needed to spend 30% or less of household income on housing costs. The report concludes with the number of housing units needed to supply the market today, and in the next ten years, and provides several strategic recommendations for how to fill this housing gap.  The findings were presented at a regional summit on housing and are now being used to guide policy throughout the County.

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