Collaborating to solve the housing crisis
The regional housing crisis can best be explained by one factor, said Bert Talerman, president of Cape Cod 5, a community bank serving the region.
“We continue to be a victim of our desirability,” he said. “The Cape and the Islands are essentially a global brand and viewed as one of the most desirable places to have a second home.” An extremely successful market for second homeowners puts a strain on year-round residents, driving up home prices and limiting housing stock, he said.
An additional stressor on the housing market has been the rapid rise in interest rates. “When rates were really low for a long time, there was a lot of movement in housing – selling one house and buying a slightly different one,” he said. “Now, anyone who has a mortgage with a rate that starts with a three, they’re just not giving up that loan and selling the property.”
When housing inventory is constrained, local banks are among the many businesses affected, he said. “We’re in the business of building long-term relationships, whether it’s someone who opens a bank account with us in high school and keeps the account forever, or someone who finances their first home with us,” he said. “Trying to play a role in bringing people together to create housing solutions is part of our commitment. If we end up with a hollow community here, that doesn’t bode well for anyone in the long run.”
It’s why Cape Cod 5 supports Housing Assistance. The bank was a Champion Sponsor of the 2023 Housing to Protect Cape Cod Summit and is an Annual Corporate Sponsor. Liam Cahill, director of residential lending operations at Cape Cod 5, is the Housing Assistance treasurer and a member of the executive committee on the agency’s board of directors.
“Housing Assistance is operating on a multitude of levels, providing direct assistance to people, developing housing and, maybe most importantly, working collaboratively with others to develop solutions for the long-term well-being of our community,” said Talerman. “The collaborative approach is very important. The only way we’re going to solve these challenges is by working together.”