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2017 Q1 Martha's Vineyard Real Estate Market Summary

Happy Spring to one and all.  Now that the First Quarter of 2017 has closed, let’s examine the real estate activity on-Island thus far and allow us to offer our comments for your consideration.

Aside from a couple of ‘normal’ snow events, the winter was relatively mild, but also has held on for longer than most would’ve liked.  However, since the holidays, our weekends have been bustling with early season real estate activities.  This confirms for us that the positive sentiment realized from the fall toward vacation/second home acquisition still abounds.  And given the calendar, with the arrival of the traditional spring market, we anticipate having more busy weekends in the field with prospective buyers pursuing acquisition activities toward finding an Island property before summer.

Continuing with the strong market dynamics of last year, many of the same variables we espoused during the past three seasons continue to exist here in early 2017, but perhaps with a greater sense of urgency or significance.  For several years now, the Vineyard market has meandered along in a “not too hot, not too cold” type behavior regarding the annual volume and realized prices of sold properties.  However, while attractive mortgage options are still available, they are becoming more sensitive to interest rate increases. And as the inventory increases from the off-season lows, the amount of new units may be tapered in number given the voluminous turnover we’ve already experienced during the past several years from this finite market of properties.

The median price on-Island has established the “sweet spot” for sales transactions during the first quarter.  By far, this is the most active segment of the market and therefore has depleted much of the available inventory.  And while the higher price segments offer many options within each of the Island towns, pricing is critical even in an active market.  “Blue-sky” pricing of a decade ago is not proving to be as effective a strategy in attracting buyers given our current market condition.  (Quarterly statistics courtesy of LINK)

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that existing nationwide sales in 2016 were the best in a decade but that current housing inventory is the lowest in the country since 1999.  Their chief economist, Lawrence Yun, suggested that the expanding pool of buyers nationwide amidst a dwindling number of available properties has led to a tighter supply and therefore increased sale prices, but buyers are demonstrating caution in chasing properties for fear of over-paying, a lingering stigma from 2005.  With the spring market now upon us, it remains to be seen if the Vineyard will feel similar correlating effects after the strong transaction volume we conveyed in 2016.  But for prospective buyers of the island, it is important to recognize that the Vineyard has begun to “normalize” and emulate many of these same competing characteristics found off-island.  With high interest and increased demand for Island real estate but lower levels of available inventory to consume, buyers should expect to see higher market prices this year.

Here are the more meaningful statistics to consider from the activity realized during the First Quarter of 2017:

Current inventory for the first time in years is below winter holiday levels, which is often the most quite period of the year. Last year at this time, there were 475 total listed units.  As of this writing, there are 451.  As aforementioned, there likely will be an influx of listings forthcoming to participate in the “spring market”, once the warmer weather firmly arrives.  But there is a marked change in the complexion, volume, and pricing of properties found within the segments of our marketplace.  Therefore, prospective buyers will need to remain vigilant this spring and keep their eyes peeled for new supply coming to market, and be equally prepared to act promptly.

A total of 89 residential properties were sold among the Island towns within the First Quarter this year, which is 10% more than were sold a year ago. Specifically, home sales were found as follows:  Edgartown-19, Oak Bluffs-30, Vineyard Haven-16, West Tisbury-14, Chilmark-9, and Aquinnah-1.  

Median sales prices on-Island for Q1 increased 11% from $683,729 to $759,000 compared to the same period in 2016, while average prices increased by 14% from $1.133M to $1.292M during the same period.  

On average, residential property sales thus far have captured 96% of their final asking prices and garnered 126% of their respective tax assessments.  However, the strength of this correlation remains highly subject to factors such as condition, amenity, scarcity and uniqueness of the subject properties sold.

As an independent franchise that is associated with a national brand, we are often introduced to proprietary market analysis and industry trends.  We’ve thus learned that resort-vacation-destination markets like Martha’s Vineyard have continued to enjoy consistent attention and acquisition, but also significant heightened competition for these desirable properties.  So for those who have vested themselves in the search for Island real estate, 2017 may again afford the opportunity to make the commitment toward acquiring an Island property. But preparation and timing are becoming important variables.   And for current home owners to consider, because the better conditioned and more realistically priced inventory has been consumed in 2016, this year could prove to be an opportune time to list and successfully sell your Island property given the steady demand.  Please contact us to discuss performing a market analysis and Broker Opinion of Value for your property.  With over 30 years of market experience, we are able to counsel our clients well.

Home Sellers: 6 Tips For Getting the Best Offer

Homes Seller Hand ShakeWe all know the effort that goes into preparing your home to be sold. In addition to the upkeep and maintenance, you need to work with an expert to make sure your home is priced properly. As your home begins to gain attention from buyers, it's important to know how to effectively evaluate each offer.

6 Ways to Secure the Best Offer:

1. Understand Your Options

When you receive an offer, you have three options: Accept it, reject it, or make a counter offer.

2. Set Priorities

What is most important to you? If you are trying to get your home sold quickly, you will need to be flexible on the price, and vice versa.

3. Establish a Process

Set a time frame for which buyers must submit offers. That way, you'll have time to market your home to as many potential buyers as possible and you'll have time to review each offer.

4. Remember, it's business.

Don't take offers too personally; at the end of the day this is a business transaction. If a potential buyer is turned off by an aspect of your home, look for opportunity to negotiate or simply move on.

5. Closely Review Each Offer

While you may receive several similar offers, there are bound to be subtle differences in the terms of each. Make sure have a complete understanding of the terms of each.

6. Adapt

While it is important not to lose sight of your selling goals, there might be ways compromise to meet buyers' specific needs and close the deal. This is the process of negotiating.

This is a recap of an article by G.M. Filisko that originally appeared on HouseLogic.com.

 

Martha's Vineyard Real Estate 2016 Year-End Commentary

COLDWELL BANKER LANDMARKS
PREVIEWS INTERNATIONAL

2016 Year-end Market Commentary

By Sean D. Federowicz, M.B.A.
Broker, Owner, Realtor

The significant cadre of prospective buyers who had been biding their time since the market height in 2006, having endured the “great recession” and the subsequent market recovery of 2015 on-Island, have become more aware of the nuances associated with Island ownership. Many of these parties re-entered the market during the past two seasons to make their purchases. Yet seemingly, there is a balance of prospective buyers who are still on the sidelines, waiting for the “perfect property” or “perfect time” to commit.

The irony here is that these very same folks may risk missing out (again) on an attractive buying opportunity as the Vineyard market continues to demonstrate improved strength.  With higher lending rates now expected, and if the weather cooperates, we anticipate the New Year getting off to an early and strong start before the customary, albeit competitive “spring market” arrives. Here are some facts, observations, and opinions that may help you formulate your own point of view regarding the state of Martha’s Vineyard real estate.

Here are some facts, observations, and opinions that may help you formulate your own point of view regarding the state of Martha’s Vineyard real estate.

  • Nationwide sentiment toward real estate has substantively improved, especially among second home seekers in vacation/destination markets like Martha’s Vineyard, as investments made within these segments are for both lifestyle and financial purposes.
  • Reinforcing the good feeling is the continued and relatively favorable interest rate climate. However, the near-term trajectory of lending rates appears to be heading upward with the recent policy actions from the Federal Reserve Bank.
  • The S&P, Core-Logic, Case Shiller Indices expect home prices to improve another 5.2% in 2017, likely as a result of existing tight inventory conditions.  But the sentiment stemming from this primary market dynamic will likely affect Island real estate pricing too, even if nominally.
  • The 4th Quarter realized a significant volume of residential sales on-Island (155) exceeding Q1 (88), Q2 (99) and Q3 (114).  Our “Fall Market” has become stronger than the customary “Spring Market”.  Note that the total number of properties for sale has decreased significantly from the seasonal high of approximately 637 in late August to 475 at this writing.  Arguably, the Vineyard market still has excess inventory.  But with the supply of “quality” units falling, prices can more readily increase. This could also be a cue for potential sellers to enter the market with new listings come spring, if not sooner.  Please contact us to discuss the salability of your property.
  • In 2016, residential sales on-Island were again realized from all price segments totaling 456 units versus the 462 transacted in 2015.  However, comparative to 2015, the high-end segment participated to a lesser extent this year. As a result, price divergence has now developed between median and average sales prices, whereby the former increased by 11.2% from $650,000 to $723,000 but the later decreased 8.7% from $1,259,000 to $1,149,000.
  • Sales prices on-Island continue to capture approximately 95% of their asking price, but garnered 129.40% of their respective tax assessment.  This break in correlation between assessed value and sales price has continued from the end of 2012 and confirms that a return to “normalcy” is well underway on Martha’s Vineyard.
  • For the year, Island towns conveyed the following number of residential properties; Edgartown-141, Oak Bluffs-118, Vineyard Haven-95, West Tisbury-55, Chilmark-39, and Aquinnah-8.
  • The Island is a finite commodity having both geographic and economic barriers of entry that promote various price supports not typically found in many primary real estate markets. Although scarcity, location, condition and amenities continue to be key drivers toward pricing.
  • As desirable inventory is pared down, prices will continue to adjust upward as a function of supply and demand.  It is not surprising that with the improved market climate, the better priced, better conditioned properties are going under contract more quickly than their respective competition.
  • Our successful 2016 clients, buyers and sellers alike, have these best practices in common: Identify your wants and needs, learn the market, develop reasonable expectations, perform your due diligence, and “be prepared to act”.  This micro-market has returned to a more competitive and urgent dynamic.

It is our expectation for 2017, that Martha’s Vineyard will catch up to the competitive trends found within many primary markets. We expect the increase in search activity to continue, especially from those who have long watched from the sidelines and may now fear “missing out” on capturing their dream of Island ownership or having to endure higher finance costs to do so.

As the economy continues to stabilize, the absorption rate for Island property will also continue to increase, resulting in sales price increases as supply decreases.  Lastly, with mortgage interest rates now rising, this factor may also provide some incentive for prospective buyers to act sooner rather than later.  This will add to the increased competitive dynamic for real estate acquisition on-Island.

Certainly anything can happen during the year, of course, and the Island’s resilience as a discretionary market of desire will be tested.  However, for those individuals who perform their due diligence, work with an experienced Realtor, and are ready to take action, it still remains a great time to be a Buyer of Martha’s Vineyard real estate!

If a purchase of an Island property is not in your future right now, there is still time to book your 2017 summer vacation rental.  Our inventory features homes that accommodate most every need and represent every corner of the Island.  But availability for best properties and weeks is waning.

As always, do not hesitate to contact us with your questions concerning properties of interest, and Martha’s Vineyard real estate concerns in general.

Martha's Vineyard Third Quarter Real Estate Sales Commentary

COLDWELL BANKER LANDMARKS
PREVIEWS INTERNATIONAL

Third Quarter Sales Commentary
By
Sean D. Federowicz, M.B.A.
Broker, Owner, Realtor

It is hard to believe that another season is now in the books, and we are again reminiscing over what was a near perfect summer on Martha’s Vineyard.  The weather was idyllic, and the usual seasonal events delivered plenty of enjoyment to its patrons. The ferries and beaches were non-stop full, and the real estate market on-Island continued a positive, albeit more modest trajectory from 2015. The typical springtime real estate search activities began haphazardly but gained steam as we migrated into summer. And we have been been actively in the field with clients ever since with the expectation that a productive fall market is unfolding before us.

Despite the continued geo-political and macro-economic issues in the world today, prudent investment decisions and lifestyle choices remain overriding considerations among buyers of Martha’s Vineyard real estate.   With relative value, choice, and compelling lending rates still available, we are anticipating continued search and acquisition activity through year-end before the holidays and quieter winter months arrive.

The confluence of events that has enabled Martha’s Vineyard to retain market traction this season still has room to run before emulating the conditions found among many primary markets, which is arguably a supply driven issue focused upon the limited availability of quality properties for sale. That is not the condition on-Island.  However, the general local market dynamic and sentiment has notably improved with more interest and greater activity from buyers and sellers alike.

After closing a robust and markedly intense 2015 season, and given the continued degree of activity that we have experienced year to date and year-over-year, we expect our micro-market to continue “normalizing” and follow both the region’s primary and other second home market trends.

Please consider the following;

  • Year to date 301 residential properties have sold on Martha’s Vineyard, which is down 5.3% from the 318 sold for the same period in 2015.
  • Q3 alone conveyed 106 residential properties, down modestly by 15.0% from the 124 sold in 2015 for the same period.
  • The number of properties for sale however, has remained relatively constant for nearly seven years.  There are currently 637 total active listings representing $1.441B of listed real estate on-Island.
  • At the Quarter’s close, year-over-year median home sale prices increased 10.0% from $690,500 to $756,125, but average home sales prices decreased by 14.0% from $1,337,104 to $1,156,539 for the period.  These metrics speak to the change in price segment participation this season from last year, reflecting the properties sold.
  • On average, YTD home sales on-Island have transacted at approximately 95% of their asking price while realizing 125% of their tax assessment.  This correlation suggests that property sale prices exceeding the respective tax assessment have continued to trend more broadly throughout our micro-market, but still remain subject to the attributes of condition, location, utility, scarcity and uniqueness.

Acquiring real estate in this largely second-home market is often a discretionary decision.  However, given the consistently high level of inventory coupled with continued low interest rates, this arguably remains one of the most attractive times to acquire an Island property for both financial and emotional returns.  There will come a time, and likely now sooner than later, when this degree of opportunity will become out of reach for some.  But Martha’s Vineyard, compared to many like markets, continues to afford an attractive opportunity for those willing to make a commitment to her.

Please visit www.mvlandmarks.com to view a comprehensive list of all available Island listings.  If you would enjoy having immediate and free, real-time access to our ever-evolving inventory of listings, please contact us to receive access into LINK, the Island’s local MLS.  And as always, do not hesitate to contact us with your questions and curiosities concerning those properties of interest and Martha’s Vineyard real estate topics in general.

If, however, a purchase of Island property is not in your future right now, this is an opportune time to book your summer vacation rental for 2017.  Our Island-wide inventory features homes that accommodate most every need, but competition for the best properties and available weeks has markedly increased.  Our experienced rental agents are readily available to assist you in finding the perfect vacation home.  Please do not delay, contact us now to assist you with creating your dream vacation!

 

5 Reasons to Visit Martha's Vineyard in the Fall

Martha's Vineyard Fall

Foliage

Other parts of New England may be more known for their beautiful foliage, but Martha’s Vineyard foliage is spectacular if you know where to go! Places to find the best colors on the island are those areas that are wet and have blueberries and huckleberries. The Land Bank’s Sweetened Water Preserve on Edgartown-West Tisbury Road in Edgartown has easily viewed from a passing car foliage that won’t disappoint. This area is also home to water willows, which are known for turning a deep, cranberry red. Passing motorists on County Road in West Tisbury will also be able to see the sumac trees which are also known for turning a deep red. The most distinctive fall foliage may lie on the great outwash plains of the south shore. Looking to get a little closer to the changing colors? Quansoo Farm, Sepiessa Point Reservation, and Long Point Reservation, all located in West Tisbury, offer public trails that have beautiful panoramic views of the sea and foliage.

Hiking

No matter what time of year you are visiting the island, be sure to check out some of the amazing hiking trails scattered across Martha’s Vineyard. Some popular hikes include Great Rock Bight off of North Road in Chilmark. The moderately easy hikes wind through woods to a bluff overlooking Vineyard Sound. Dog-friendly, and leading to a beach only accessible by foot, this is a great way to spend a sunny afternoon. If you’re looking to get a little closer to the wildlife of the island, Long Point Wildlife Refuge is a great place to start. The refuge offers miles of hiking trails and plenty of vegetation and vistas. More information on hiking trails and locations can be found here.

Food

Martha’s Vineyard has always been steeped in the tradition of farming and fishing. One thing you can’t miss this fall on the Island is the annual Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival. MVF&W is a four-day, four-night experience that any foodie, or hungry traveler, won’t be disappointed about. Located throughout Edgartown the festival consists of 22 events. A portion of the proceeds goes to benefit the island’s farm-to-school program Island Grown Schools. Tickets can be purchased on the festival’s website.

Culture

Martha’s Vineyard offers an amazing art scene year round. Fall is home to the Vineyard Artisan’s Annual Columbus Day Festival. This free festival located in West Tisbury is a fun for the whole family. Catch local artisans of all disciplines!

Skip The Crowds

One of the best parts of visiting the island in the off-season is that there are fewer people, which means fewer cars, and a shorter commute to any part of the island. This gives you an opportunity to really enjoy the beautiful scenery the island has to offer without all the chaos of clogged roads and insanely busy restaurants.

 

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    Second Quarter Sales Commentary 2016 - Martha's Vineyard Real Estate

    Happy summer from Martha’s Vineyard to one and all!  It has been a busy start to the summer season, especially since Mother Nature enabled an earlier start to the spring market with more favorable weather as compared to last year.

    So, with yet another summer buying season now at hand, please allow us to share some market commentary concerning the sales activity on-Island thus far.  The continuance of positive and improving sentiment toward Island real estate has been demonstrated with a consistent number of transactions being consummated.  The search activity performed by prospective buyers has been consistent with these common activities comparative to last year. And while the Island continues to carry an above average level of inventory on a historic basis, it is still the better priced, better conditioned, ideally located and more unique properties that are generating interest and garnering bids on-Island.

    Transaction volume is increasing too, which is customary given the seasonality influence, and the composition of our inventory is evolving quickly with new listings materializing in advance of the late summer audience.  And while prices have moderated a touch, some segments are proving to be “hotter” than others.  Yet wholesale participation from each market segment is at a less frenetic pace than last season. The low interest rate climate offered by lenders still remains favorable and available to most prospective buyers.  And buyer sentiment coupled with their sense of urgency to engage in the acquisition of property is still present; therefore competition continues to exist among prospective buyers for coveted listings. All told, Martha’s Vineyard still offers opportunity and greater relative value in comparison to many other like-kind markets, but choice of inventory and attractive financing options may become less available in the not too distant future to those who wait.

    Here are the more meaningful statistics to consider through Second Quarter 2016:

    Inventory has increased with the accompanying warmer temps from the early spring total of 517 units to the current 599.  The total value of listed real estate on-Island now equates to $1.340B.

    Thus far in 2016, a total of 187 residential properties were sold among the Island towns, which is on par with last years’ sales for the period:  Edgartown-51, Oak Bluffs-49, Vineyard Haven-40, West Tisbury-24, Chilmark-17, and Aquinnah-6.

    Sales consummated Island-wide for the Second Quarter were;

    Year-to-date median sale prices on-Island have increased 13.2% from $593,000 to $672,000, while average sale prices decreased by almost 21% from $1,283,000 to $1,015,000 as compared to the same period in 2015.

    Year-to-date, sales in the aggregate have captured 95% of their final asking prices, and garnered approximately 136% of their respective tax assessments.  The strength of this correlation remains subject to factors such as competition, condition, amenity, and uniqueness of the subject properties sold, yet the relationship has been maintained over the past several years with relative consistency.  

    As an independent franchise that is associated with a national brand, we are often introduced to proprietary market analysis.  We’ve learned that, the northeast as a region continues to fare better than many areas of the country.  And resort-vacation-destination markets like Martha’s Vineyard have continued to enjoy consistent attention and acquisition.

    Please visit www.mvlandmarks.com regularly to keep abreast of all Island properties for sale.  And as always, please do not hesitate to contact us with your questions and curiosities concerning properties of interest, or Martha’s Vineyard real estate in general.

    Best Martha's Vineyard Beaches

    Sunset on Martha's Vineyard

    Best Family Beach: Joseph Sylvia State Beach

    This 2-mile long stretch of beautiful sand and dunes offers the quintessential Martha’s Vineyard beach experience. “State Beach” has the perfect combination of accessibility and privacy, and its moderate surf makes it a perfect beach to spend the day with family.

    Best Wave Beach: South Beach

    Its location on the southern shore of Edgartown gives beach-goers access to some of the best surf in New England. South Beach (also called Katama Beach) is only about a 10-minute drive from downtown Edgartown and it is also accessible by public bus.

    Best Fishing Beach: Wasque Beach

    The seclusion of Wasque Beach on Chappaquiddick, combined with its southern facing shoreline, make this an excellent place for surf fishing. Cast your line and take in the beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean from Wasque.

    Kayak Martha's VineyardBest Place To Kayak: Sengekontacket Pond & Tisbury Great Pond

    There is a distinctive adventurous culture here on Martha’s Vineyard. So, grab your kayak and check out the coves of Sengekontacket Pond or Tisbury Great Pond, two great places to spend a day on the water.

    Best Town Beaches:

    Fuller Street Beach in Edgartown
    Eastville Beach or the “Ink Well” in Oak Bluffs
    Owen Park Beach or the Tashmoo Cut in Vineyard Haven
    Lambert’s Cove & Long Point Beach in West Tisbury
    Philbin Beach in Aquinnah
    Quansoo or Black Point Beach in Chilmark

    Best Clamming: Lake Tashmoo

    Some people don’t like seafood. I know, can you believe it? For the rest of us, there is great clamming here on Martha’s Vineyard. The best place to find these hidden gems is Lake Tashmoo in Tisbury.

     

    For More Vineyard Beach Insights...

    If you're interested in learning more about the beaches on Martha's Vineyard, here is a great resource for beach info.  Occasional beach-going not satisfying enough? Browse Martha's Vineyard oceanfront property listings and buy a private beach of your own!

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    5 Best Martha's Vineyard Restaurants

    Martha's Vineyard Diner Table

    While Martha's Vineyard is home to dozens of amazing restaurants and eateries, certain places standout from the rest. Here are five of our favorite places to eat on the Island:

     

    Art Cliff Diner

    39 Beach Rd, Vineyard Haven

    The line is literally out the door for breakfast at Art Cliff Diner, and it is absolutely worth the wait. The Vineyard’s most legendary breakfast spot has everything from classics like french toast and eggs benedict, to creative options like frittatas and crepes. While this little restaurant is best known for its breakfast, it also has an amazing brunch/lunch menu featuring fish tacos, pulled pork, and of course, a classic New England lobster roll. Also, keep an eye out for the Art Cliff food truck traveling around the island in the evening!

    Art Cliff on Facebook

     

    Atria

    137 Main Street, Edgartown

    Atria Restaurant in Edgartown is home to the Vineyard’s best burger, as well as a vibrant late-night scene. Elect to sit in the dining room for an upscale experience and access to amazing Thai and Mediterranean style dishes, or sit in the Brick Cellar Bar for a more casual, burger-and-beer atmosphere. Either way, you can’t go wrong at Atria.

    http://www.atriamv.com/

     

    Giordano’s Restaurant

    18 Lake Avenue, Oak Bluffs

    Giordano’s has been serving families on Martha’s Vineyard since 1930 and has remained committed to quality since day one.  This Italian restaurant has spectacular dishes like veal parmesan, lobster ravioli, and of course, delicious handmade pizzas. The warm atmosphere and modestly priced menu makes Giordano’s a great place to bring the entire family.

    http://giosmv.com/

     

    The Net Result

    79 Beach Rd, Vineyard Haven

    New England Lobster RollFor seafood lovers, the Net Result in Vineyard Haven is can’t-miss. This seafood market and take-out restaurant has the freshest seafood on the island. The take out menu features all of the classics like Fish and chips, lobster rolls, stuffed quahogs and fried clams. Or if you are planning on cooking at home, grab a quick snack and pick up some fresh fish from the Net Result fish market. Nothing says seafood in Martha’s Vineyard quite like the Net Result.

    http://www.mvseafood.com/

     

     

    L’Etolie

    22 N Water St, Edgartown

    L’Etolie is an elegant Martha’s Vineyard restaurant with a distinctly French influence. Michael Brisson, Chef-Owner, is devoted to getting every plate just right. This posh setting is the perfect place for a special occasion or romantic evening. The gourmet dishes are rich and satisfying and L’Etolie is one of the only a few places on the island that offers a chef’s tasting menu.

    http://www.letoile.net/

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    2016 First Quarter Sales Commentary

    Oh how El Nino has been a blessing to us on the coast of New England this winter. A year ago at this time, there were still piles of snow on most street corners among the Island villages and the temperatures had not yet touched 50 degrees!  However, despite the brief visit of some snow recently, not only are the daffodils sprouting, but trees and plants are showing buds with the generally mild temperatures.

    Martha's Vineyard Home in the Spring

    So with the early warmth of the season upon us, the customary spring stirrings for real estate activity are afoot too.  And since the first quarter of 2016 has closed, let's examine the real estate activity on-Island thus far and allow us to offer our comments for your consideration.

    As noted, the off-season has been a welcome respite from the harsh winter of only a year ago.  Aside from a couple of 'normal' snow events, the winter was relatively mild. And with summer now firmly on the horizon, coupled with the carry forward of positive sentiment toward vacation home acquisition from the fall, we anticipate some very busy weekends in the field with prospective buyers pursuing the acquisition activities toward finding an Island property before the arrival of our summer "high-season".

    Continuing on with the strong market dynamics of last year, many of the same variables we espoused during the past two seasons continue to exist here in early 2016.  Specifically, attractive lending rates are still available; inventory levels will begin to increase from the off-season lows coupled with pent-up demand from prospective buyers holding improved confidence toward second-home markets.  It is these factors that are expected to again drive this season's activity in part, or whole.

    Barron's published an article on March 28th discussing the Top 20 Second-Home Resorts, and Martha's Vineyard placed 6th, nicely squeezed in between Kiawah Island, SC and Vail, CO.  Other regional competition included the Hamptons, NY placing 4th but interestingly, no mention of Nantucket.   As we noted in our Year in Review edition, there were 444 residential properties sold on-Island with the vast majority being acquired for seasonal, vacation use.

    The National Association of Realtors (NAR) noted that following the banner year nation enjoyed for vacation home purchases made in 2014, median sales prices for purchases in 2015 jumped another 28%.  The chief economist for NAR, Lawrence Yun, suggested that the expanding pool of buyers nationwide amidst a dwindling number of available properties led to a tighter supply and therefore increased sale prices.  With the spring market now upon us, it remains to be seen if the Vineyard will feel similar effects from lower numbers of quality inventory during the course of this year after the strong transaction volume we conveyed in 2015.

    That being said, here are the more meaningful statistics to consider from the activity realized during the First Quarter of 2016 (Data Courtesy of LINK):

     

    • Inventory has begun to increase within each price segment from the holiday lows of approximately 460 total units to 517 as of this writing.
    • A total of 82 residential properties were sold among the Island towns within the First Quarter this year, which were only 10 fewer than were sold in the First Quarter of 2015. Specifically, home sales were found as follows:  Edgartown-25, Oak Bluffs-21, Vineyard Haven-14, West Tisbury-11, Chilmark-7, and Aquinnah-4.
    • Interestingly, median sales prices on-Island for Q1 decreased approximately 2% from $705,000 to $691,865 compared to the same period in 2015, while average prices have also decreased by 30% from $1,621,663 to $1,132,394 during the same period.  Please bear in mind that this comparison is only relative to the same period Q1 2016 to Q1 2015 and we do not expect this general trend to continue throughout the current year.
    • On average, residential property sales thus far have captured nearly 95% of their final asking prices and garnered 158% of their respective tax assessments.  However, the strength of this correlation remains highly subject to factors such as condition, amenity, scarcity and uniqueness of the subject properties sold.

    As an independent franchise that is associated with a national brand, we are often introduced to proprietary market analysis and industry trends.  We've thus learned that resort-vacation-destination markets like Martha's Vineyard have continued to enjoy consistent attention and acquisition.  So for those who have vested themselves in the search for Island real estate, 2016 may again prove to be an idyllic year to make the commitment toward acquiring an Island property.

    And for home owners to consider, because the better conditioned and more realistically priced inventory has been consumed in 2015, this season could prove to be an opportune time to offer and successfully convey Island property for sale.  Please contact us to discuss performing a market analysis and Broker Price Opinion of value for your property.  With 30 years of market experience, we are able to counsel our clients well.

    As inventory begins to appear in advance of the "spring market", please visit www.mvlandmarks.com regularly to keep abreast of all Island properties for sale.  And as always, please do not hesitate to contact us with your questions and curiosities concerning properties of interest or Martha's Vineyard real estate in general.

    Summer is coming to the Vineyard, might YOU be coming to your Island home???

     

    Should I Vacation on Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket?

    Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket: two sister islands off the shores of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, separated by less than 20 nautical miles. While both make for great vacation destinations, locals know that there are several key differences between the neighboring Islands.

    Here's why we think the Vineyard is the best choice for your Island getaway:

     

    More Space

    Nantucket is only about 48 square miles and has just one town and a village, while Martha's Vineyard has six towns spanning nearly 100 square miles. The Vineyard is twice as big, so as you might expect, there is more to do. Each of the six towns has its own unique personality, and traveling from one to the next is a relative breeze.

    More Variety

    Anyone who has spent time on both islands knows that the topography is actually quite different. Both have great beaches, but Nantucket is almost completely flat. Martha's Vineyard has several different geographic regions. Depending on which "corner" of the Island you are in, you might feel like you are in the rolling hills of Vermont, on the beaches of Cape Cod, in a historic whaling village or in the agricultural farmlands of Connecticut. With so much to offer, the Vineyard ensures that you'll never get bored.

    More Affordable

    Let's be honest, neither Island is "cheap." But Martha's Vineyard is far more affordable than Nantucket. In 2015, the median sales price for real estate on the Vineyard was $650,000 compared to about $1,500,000 for Nantucket.  The greater variety of real estate and pricing options makes the Vineyard affordable to more people, and helps to cultivate its more relaxed, "down-to-earth" atmosphere.

    More Accessible

    Martha's Vineyard is much closer to the mainland than Nantucket, allowing for shorter and more frequent ferry trips to the Island for foot passengers and vehicles.

    For example, the Steamship Authority's summer schedule offers six traditional ferry rides from Cape Cod to one Nantucket port throughout the day; its summer schedule for Martha's Vineyard has 14 time options serving two ports on the Island. The traditional ferry ride from Cape Cod to Martha's Vineyard takes about 45 minutes, while it takes 2 hour and 15 minutes to get to Nantucket.

    More Fun

    To put it simply: Martha's Vineyard is just more fun! Whether you are looking for a vacation spot to enjoy with the family, a romantic escape, or something in between, this is an amazing place to buy or rent property. The atmosphere is lighthearted and relaxed, and there are so many great dining, shopping, water sports, and entertainment options, not to mention the beautiful beaches and rolling coastline.

    Maybe you'll even bump into someone famous while you're here  - in recent years, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Meg Ryan, Michael J. Fox, Bill Murray, Billy Joel, Carly Simon, Cam Neely, Ray Allen and both the Clinton and Obama families have vacationed on Martha's Vineyard!

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