Blog :: 2019

Martha's Vineyard Real Estate: 2019 Q3 Market Commentary

Happy fall to one and all! Another delightful and near idyllic summer season has come to pass, full of the usual seasonal events that serve to appease, amuse and relax the Island patrons. Hopefully, the coming weeks will afford equally enjoyable weather and activities that will help extend the feel of late summer and contribute further to a productive fall real estate market.

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 increased purchasing power that is made available through low lending rates, we anticipate continued search and acquisition activity through year-end before the quieter winter months arrive.

The events that have enabled Martha’s Vineyard to maintain market traction this year continue to replicate conditions found among many primary real estate markets, which notably are related to supply. While inventory on-Island exists across the full market spectrum, we have again seen most search activities being concentrated among the $500K-$1.5M price segments. For our micro-market, this is also the most economical price range for many second-home buyers. However, the consistent absorption rate of residential properties for the past five years coupled with low levels of inventory replenishment, have created new challenges for buyers of Martha’s Vineyard real estate; notably in available inventory, desirable locations, condition and of course pricing. And since many acquisitions made on-Island are for the longer-term, i.e. “family legacy” ownership, this implies that some properties or locations may not become available again for many years. Therefore, as levels of available inventory continue to contract, especially in the most economical segments of the market, we expect heightened competition among buyers to persist with prices remaining stable and insular.

Martha's Vineyard, SSA Ferry

In contrast, the market condition above the “conversational” $1.5M threshold is noticeably different. There are fewer capable or willing buyers, and there is more available inventory within these segments. But location, amenities and condition have proven to be significant and subjective drivers in the consideration and urgency toward acquiring real estate by this cadre of prospective buyers.

Please consider the following;

  • Year-to-date 255 residential properties have sold on Martha’s Vineyard, which is down 12.5% from the 291 sold for the same period in 2018.
  • Q3 alone conveyed 102 residential properties, up 6% from the 96 sold in 2018 for the same period.
  • Year-over-year, median home sale prices have increased 4.3% from $752,000 to $785,000 with average home sales prices also increasing by nearly 18% from $1,213,000 to $1,431,000 for the period.
  • On average, year to date home sales on-Island have transacted at approximately 96% of their asking price while realizing 123% 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.

Third Quarter sales statistics courtesy of LINK

MV Real Estate Q32019 Town Table

MV Real Estate Q32019 Sales by Town  MV Real Estate Q32019 Dollars by Town

Acquiring real estate in this largely second-home market is often a discretionary venture. Yet given the consumer demand, armed with increased purchasing power afforded by the relative low interest rate climate, and ability to garner both emotional and financial returns from an investment made on-Island, it still remains an attractive time to acquire Island real estate.

Please visit to view a comprehensive list of all available Island listings. 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.

However, if a purchase of Island real estate is not in your future right now, this is an opportune time to book your summer vacation rental for 2020. 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 in creating your dream vacation!

Martha's Vineyard Real Estate: 2019 Q2 Market Commentary

Happy summer from Martha’s Vineyard!  It has been another busy and productive start to the season. Please allow us to share our mid-year market commentary with you concerning the sales activity on-Island thus far. 

Positive sentiment toward Martha’s Vineyard real estate has been demonstrated by the number of transactions being consummated. And search activity performed by prospective buyers has remained consistent over the past year too. However, with some segments proving to be “hotter” than others, inventory has become a significant concern. With improved buyer sentiment coupled with a greater sense of urgency to engage in the acquisition of property, heightened competition continues to exist among prospective buyers for coveted listings or the most desirable areas. It is still the better priced, better conditioned, and more desirable properties that are generating the most interest and often garner multiple offers.

Martha’s Vineyard still offers opportunity, and financing options have never been more attractive, but choice of inventory is becoming less available to those who wait given the consistent consumption across the various market segments during the past five years. And since the Island is a finite land mass, and does not replenish inventory through mass development as found off-Island, the number of available units will likely remain tight for the foreseeable future.

Martha's Vineyard: Coldwell Banker Landmarks Real Estate

Here are the more meaningful statistics to consider through Second Quarter 2019: 

Inventory has increased with the accompanying warmer temps from the early spring total of 393 units to the current 437. The total value of listed real estate on-Island now equates to $1.213B.

Thus far in 2019, a total of 170 residential properties were sold among the Island towns, which is down 17.5% from last year's sales of 205 for the same period.

Sales for the Quarter are as follows: Edgartown-27, Oak Bluffs-27, Vineyard Haven-26, West Tisbury-11, Chilmark-4, and Aquinnah-3. 

Second Quarter sales statistics courtesy of LINK

MV Real Estate by Town: Q2 2019

MV Real Estate: Q219 Sales by TownMV Real Estate: Q219 Dollar Volume by Town

Year-to-date median residential sale prices on-Island have increased 9.4% from $727,000 to $795,000, while average residential sale prices soared 31.3% from $1,143,000 to $1,501,000 as compared to the same period in 2018.

Year-to-date residential sales in the aggregate have captured nearly 96% of their final asking prices, and garnered approximately 121% 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.

Resort-vacation-destination markets like Martha’s Vineyard have continued to enjoy consistent attention and acquisition; however they too are now encountering inventory driven issues much like the primary markets have endured. And while the decision-making drivers differ when electing to acquire a vacation type home, there are similar economic, emotional, logistic, and utilitarian variables that are employed in the undertaking of such a venture. Our agents are skilled and savvy in helping you identify and address them. 

Please feel free to contact us with your questions and curiosities concerning properties of interest, or Martha’s Vineyard real estate in general. And please do regularly re-visit to help keep abreast of all Island properties for sale. 

Lastly, if you are still seeking a summer vacation on-island, please be in touch with us for assistance. There is still some availability and our rental agents are here to help you find a last minute getaway! 

Martha's Vineyard Real Estate: 2019 Q1 Market Commentary

Greetings from Martha’s Vineyard! Now that the First Quarter of 2019 has closed, please allow us to examine the real estate activity on-Island thus far and to offer our comments for your consideration.

Since the holidays, the winter weather was unusually mild for the south coast of New England and contributed to some quick and successful transactions. Since the turn of the New Year, our weekends have been busier than customary with the buzz of an early “Spring Market” taking hold and the arrival of prospective buyers pursuing acquisition activities with the hope of finding an Island property before summer.

Continuing the strong market dynamics of last year, many of the same variables we espoused during the past four seasons continue to exist here in early 2019, but perhaps with a greater sense of urgency and significance. For several years now, the Vineyard market has meandered along in a “not too hot, not too cold” type behavior regarding annual sales volume and the realized prices of sold properties. However, being a finite housing market that avoids excessive development, the level of replenishment inventory often lags market demand and is more often the result of “life events” such as death, divorce, or lack of use whereas transactions attributed to new housing developments, job relocation, migration to better school systems, or shorter commuting times are often drivers within the off-Island housing markets. Therefore, sales prices are highly sensitive to more specific and subjective supply variables on-Island comparatively.

We have spoken in the past about the consumption volume of single family homes on-Island, posting over 400 units sold annually for the past four years. And while our spring market will feature both the reactivation of previous listings that went off-market for the winter months as well as new properties to participate in the spring inventory, the robust number of sales transactions without a correlating replenishment of inventory has begun to put pressure on the pricing of available, albeit lower supply.

Much as the closing months of 2018 has demonstrated, the First Quarter median and average sales price on-Island are directly correlated with the characteristics found within the current inventory. By far, the most active segment of the market is below $1.5M and therefore continues to increase competition for whatever available inventory among active buyers. And while the higher price segments offer many options, pricing within those segments remains critical even within an active market. “Blue-sky” pricing of a decade ago is not proving to be as effective a strategy in attracting buyers given our unfolding market condition.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently expressed that the housing market continues to undergo a transition but reiterated that existing nationwide sales have continued in an upward trajectory, albeit with tapered enthusiasm as available housing inventory continues to contract. 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. Last year, we did not see the immediate effects of this general market dynamic on-Island. However, with another spring market now upon us, these correlating effects appear to be taking hold here too.

For prospective buyers of Island real estate, it is important to recognize that the Vineyard continues to “normalize” and is emulating many of these same competing characteristics found off-Island. With high interest and increased demand, but lower levels of available inventory to consume, buyers should expect to again see higher market prices this year.

Here are the more meaningful statistics from activity realized during the First Quarter of 2019.

Q1 2019 Martha's Vineyard Real Estate Update

Quarterly Statistics Courtesy of LINK

Q1 2019 Martha's Vineyard Number of Home Sales by TownQ1 2019 Martha's Vineyard Home Sales Total Dollar Volume by Town

Current inventory for several consecutive years is below winter holiday levels, which is often the most quiet period of the year. Last year at this time, there were 406 total listed units. As of this writing, there are 393. As aforementioned, there likely will be an influx of listings forthcoming to participate in the “spring market”. But there is a marked change in the complexion, volume, and pricing of properties found within the various segments of our micro-market. Therefore, prospective buyers will need to remain vigilant this spring for new opportunities coming to market, and be equally prepared to act promptly.

A total of 55 residential properties were sold among the Island towns within the First Quarter this year, which is 38% less than were sold a year ago. Specifically, home sales were found as follows: Aquinnah-2, Chilmark-5, Edgartown-13, Oak Bluffs-15, Vineyard Haven-13, West Tisbury-7.

Median sales prices on-Island for Q1 increased 28% from $745,000 to $950,000 compared to the same period in 2018, while average prices soared 90% from $1.105M to $2.099M during the same period.

Q1 2019 Martha's Vineyard Average Median Home Selling Price

On average, residential property sales thus far have captured 95% of their final asking prices and garnered 125% 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 independently owned 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 continue to enjoy consistent attention and acquisition, but also with significant and heightened competition for these desirable properties. So for those who have vested themselves in the search for Vineyard real estate, 2019 may again afford the opportunity to make the commitment toward acquiring an Island property. But preparation, education, and timing have become important variables. 

And for current homeowners to consider, because the better conditioned and more realistically priced inventory has been consumed since 2015, this year could prove to be an opportune time to list and successfully sell your Island property given the present steady demand. Please contact us to discuss performing a market analysis and Broker Opinion of Value of your property. With over 30 years of market experience, we are able to counsel our clients well.

If a purchase of an Island property is not in your future right now, there is still time to book your 2019 summer vacation rental. Our inventory continues to grow featuring homes that accommodate most every need and represent every corner of the Island. But availability for best properties and weeks are waning. Please contact us to assist you in creating your dream vacation!

Please visit to view a comprehensive list of all available Island listings for sale or vacation rental. And as always, please do not hesitate to contact us with your questions and curiosities concering 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???

Martha's Vineyard Real Estate: 2018 Year-end Market Commentary

Greetings and a happy belated New Year to one and all! As has become customary, we offer our annual installment of “The Year in Review” concerning Martha’s Vineyard Real Estate activities.

Despite the fairly pedestrian “spring market” and seasonal weather to start last season, Mother Nature did provide us with another terrific summer for all concerned. Let’s hope for another mild weather pattern to develop in early 2019 to help parlay the robust real estate activities of fall into the New Year!

The significant cadre of prospective buyers who have been biding their time since the market height in 2006, then endured the “great recession” and subsequent market recovery, have become more aware of the nuances associated with Island ownership. Many parties re-entered the market during the past four seasons to make their purchases, which has effectively contributed to an inventory supply issue on-island that reflects what is being experienced in many primary markets. And despite moderating lending rates, we are anticipating higher mortgage rates come later 2019, with continued demand that outpaces supply, especially within the sub-million dollar segments. Given the strong Q4 sales volume, we envision the New Year getting off to an early and strong start before the customary “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.

Statistics Courtesy of LINK

Martha's Vineyard Home Sales Summary By Town

Number of Sales By Town on Martha's VineyardTotal Dollar Volume By Town on Martha's Vineyard

  • 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.
  • Freddie & Fannie Loan limits have again been increased specifically for the Cape Cod & Islands region. The ‘mezzanine’ level found above the conventional limit of $417,000 now resides at an attractive $726,525 before “Jumbo” mortgages are required for lending need. This upward adjustment may affect eligible buyer’s purchasing power to help afford a wider range of properties on-Island.
  • Reinforcing the good feeling is the surprisingly moderate and relatively favorable interest rate climate, which backed off significantly from the October rate highs. However, the trajectory of lending rates still appears to be heading upward with the continued policy guidance as expressed by the Federal Reserve Bank in the later part of the year.
  • The National Association of Realtors’ chief economist Lawrence Yun cites home price increases are slowing from the recent 7% clip to a more moderate 3-4% in 2019. But tight inventory conditions remain an ongoing concern that will keep prices relatively elevated, but stable.
  • Bloomberg News also reports that after a period of unrelenting price gains for most luxury markets in the US, this market segment has slowed during 2018. And while values have not fallen, the appreciation rate has slipped. How this dynamic may affect Martha’s Vineyard real estate remains to be seen in the coming months of the New Year.
  • The 4th Quarter again realized significant volume of residential sales on-Island (140) exceeding Q1 (92), Q2 (113) and Q3 (107). Interestingly, our “Fall Market” has become stronger than the customary “Spring Market”. The total number of properties for sale has decreased significantly from the seasonal high of approximately 569 in late August to 399 at this writing. Yet with overall supply of inventory falling, prices can more readily increase. Therefore, this could 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 Island property.
  • In 2018, residential sales on-Island were realized from all price segments totaling 452 units versus the 464 transacted in 2017. Median sales prices inched upwards by .60%, from $785,000 to $790,000, while average sales prices declined a touch by .63%, from $1,271,000 to $1,263,000 for the same period.
  • Sales prices on-Island captured approximately 96% of their asking price, and now on average garnered 127% of their respective tax assessment.
  • For the year, Island towns conveyed the following number of single family homes; Edgartown-148, Oak Bluffs-121, Vineyard Haven-75, West Tisbury-44, Chilmark-26, 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. Scarcity, location, condition, and amenities continue to be key drivers toward establishing value and pricing.
  • As desirable inventory is pared down, especially within the sub-million dollar segments, prices continued to adjust upward as a function of supply and demand. It is not surprising that within the improved market climate, the better priced, better conditioned properties are going under contract more quickly than their respective competition.
  • Our successful 2018 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.

We expect the increase in search activity to continue, especially from those who have long watched from the sidelines and now fear “missing out” in capturing their dream of Island ownership, or risk enduring higher finance costs to do so. But we also anticipate the potential in finding fewer properties becoming available as a result of the consistent level of acquisition during these past several years. The next several months will be telling with respect to determining the levels of inventory the spring market may hold.

As the economy continues to stabilize, the absorption rate for Island property will also continue to increase, resulting in upward trending sales price as supply further contracts. Lastly, with mortgage interest rates expected to rise, this factor may also provide some incentive for prospective buyers to act sooner rather than later. This factor will likely add to the competitive dynamic for real estate acquisition on-Island as well.

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 an attractive 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 2019 summer vacation rental. Our inventory continues to grow featuring homes that accommodate most every need and represent every corner of the Island. But availability for best properties and weeks are waning. Please contact us to assist you in creating your dream vacation!

Please also contact us to assist you in creating your dream vacation. Please also visit to view a comprehensive list of all available Island listings for sale or vacation rental. And as always, do not hesitate to contact us with your questions concerning properties of interest, and Martha’s Vineyard real estate concerns in general. 

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