There was a time, not too long ago, that it was remarkable if a home sold for over $1 million in Falmouth. A million-dollar sale drew comments from people interested in real estate matters. That is no longer the case; the bar has been raised dramatically. One might be curious who the new owner of a $4 million or $5 million property is, but it takes a sale of some $10 million or more to generate real interest.
Million-dollar homes are becoming almost commonplace. A decade ago, in 2010, 35 homes sold for over a million. In 2019, 49 homes sold for over a million. Last year, though, was a banner year for million-dollar home sales with 90 home sales topping the mark. Most of those, 67 of them, sold in the second half of 2020.
The reason for the increase is probably obvious. We all know that demand for homes—homes at any price—has skyrocketed. But also, interest rates are very low, and the stock market has performed well, which generally works in favor of the wealthy.
It may be interesting to note that the sale of business properties also flourished in 2020. Ten business properties sold for over $1 million last year. There were two sales in that category in 2010 and three in 2019.
It is evidently a good time to invest in business real estate. That might prove not to be the case in several incidences. We know that three of those 10 business properties are on the water. A major hurricane next fall may be a turn of fortune for their new owners.
But the burgeoning real estate market is good news for most Falmouth taxpayers. Those properties, some of which sold for 20 to 40 percent of their assessed value, will add to the tax base.
Maybe when it’s time to build a couple of new fire stations, there will be no need to ask voters to approve a capital exclusion to pay for them. The town might well have the money in the budget to cover the debt service.