Blog :: 04-2015

Q1 2015 Martha's Vineyard Real Estate Market Summary

COLDWELL BANKER LANDMARKS
PREVIEWS INTERNATIONAL

First Quarter Sales Commentary

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

Another long winter's hold appears to have finally released itself, and spring may have just arrived, thankfully.  The interminably long and "white" winter certainly left its imprint on the Island and our real estate market.  But now, with the arriving warmth of the season, the customary spring stirrings are afoot and we practitioners on-Island again have an underlying sense that any expectation of a leisurely unfolding spring real estate market will emulate more of a "sprint" this year due to the delayed impacts of the long winter.  So with the first quarter of 2015 having closed, here is our latest commentary concerning the real estate transaction activity on-Island thus far.

As noted, after squeaking by the MLK holiday weekend in January with but a trace of snow, the subsequent weeks of "snow-mageddon" effectively terminated any meaningful real estate activities on Martha's Vineyard.  However, with the warmth of spring now quickly approaching there is anticipation that we will make up for the lost time.  Add in the recently announced likelihood of interest rates increases from the Federal Reserve and the vastly improved acquisition rate for second homes in 2014, we anticipate some very active prospective buyers who intend to acquire Island properties this year.

Martha's Vineyard Real Estate Sold Q1 2015According to the National Association of Realtors, vacation-second home sales tallied 1.13M units in 2014, up 57.4% over 2013, and "booming" to above their most recent peak level in 2006, the highest since 2003.  Forty percent of the vacation home buyers purchased in a beach area, with 15% of this market being consumed in the Northeast.  As noted in our Year in Review edition, there were 400 residential properties sold on-Island, with the vast majority being acquired for seasonal, vacation use.

A recently published article last week by RISMedia reported, "That house prices recorded annual gains, and expect them to rise in the future".  It cited recent releases authored by the Federal Housing Finance Authority, Standard & Poor's and Case-Shiller each indicating that their respective measure of national house prices rose by 4.5% on a seasonally adjusted basis as of January.  This is a 33 consecutive month year-over-year increase for their respective house price indices.  Such consistent primary market improvement and overall sentiment toward real estate in general, should trickle down to the discretionary, vacation home markets like Martha's Vineyard.

Average Selling Price Martha's Vineyard real estateContinuing on with the strengthening market dynamics of last year, many of the same variables we espoused during the 2014 season continue to exist here in early 2015.  Specifically, attractive lending rates are still available; inventory 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.

What has been demonstrated despite this winter's weather is interest toward Martha's Vineyard real estate has remained constant, as has been observed in the on-line search traffic received during the first quarter.  The Island still holds cache and is considered a desirable destination for family recreation and relaxation no matter the season!

Here are the more meaningful statistics to consider from First Quarter 2015:

Inventory has begun to creep higher from the holiday lows of approximately 470 total units to 509 as of this writing.

A total of 92 residential properties were sold among the Island towns within the first quarter. Specifically, single family home sales broke out as follows:  Edgartown-31, Oak Bluffs-16, Vineyard Haven-20, West Tisbury-8, Chilmark-6, and Aquinnah-4.

Median prices on-Island have increased 35% from $527,500 to $710,000 compared to the same period in 2014 while average prices have increased 49% from $1,098,691 to $1,634,000 for the same period.

On average, residential property sales have captured nearly 94% of their final asking prices and garnered 116% of their respective tax assessments.  However, the strength of this correlation remains subject to factors such as condition, amenity, scarcity and uniqueness of the subject properties sold.

View the full Martha's Vineyard First Quarter 2015 Sales Summary from LINK here

As an independent franchise that is associated with a national brand, we are often introduced to proprietary market analysis.  We've thus learned that, the northeast as a region has fared better than many areas of the country.  And 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, 2015 may equally prove to be an idyllic year to make the commitment to acquiring an Island property.

And for home owners to consider, because the better conditioned and more realistically priced inventory has been recently consumed, 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.

Regardless of which "camp" you assimilate with, our agency has witnessed the good, the bad and the ugly of the past several years. The benefit of this market experience enables us 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???

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2014 Martha's Vineyard Real Estate Year in Review

COLDWELL BANKER LANDMARKS

PREVIEWS INTERNATIONAL

2014 Year in Review

By

Sean D. Federowicz, M.B.A.

Owner, Broker, Realtor

 

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

Last year proved to be a respectable continuation of 2013, reflecting the behavior of more “normal” market dynamics.  Despite the non-existent “spring market” due to the late arrival of warm weather, Mother Nature did her best to provide us with another terrific summer that allowed our patrons to fully enjoy the customary activities and events of the season.  Let’s hope for a milder weather pattern in early 2015!

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

  • Nationwide sentiment toward real estate has 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 feelings has been the unexpected and continued low interest rate climate.
  • The 4th Quarter again realized a significant volume of residential sales on-Island (123) exceeding Q1 (88), Q2 (86) and continuing the strength from Q3 (103).  Our “Fall Market” has become a consistent second season for sales transactions, having in recent years become stronger than the customary “Spring Market”.  Of particular note is the total number of properties for sale which has decreased significantly from the seasonal high of approximately 750 in August to 554 at this writing.  Arguably, the Vineyard market still has excess inventory.  But with the supply of ‘quality’ units falling, prices can more readily increase, which could also be a cue for potential sellers to enter the market with new listings.  Please contact us to discuss the salability of your property.
  • Total single family home sales decreased modestly by 2% closing the year at 400 units versus the 408 transacted in 2013.  Median home sale prices on-Island have remained consistent but ended modestly down by 4% from $625,000 to $600,000 with average home prices essentially remaining flat at $1,014,000 from $1,016,000 in 2013. 
  • Notably, residential sales on-Island were found across all price segments, inclusive of the high-value niche, averaging an approximate 93% of their asking price, but capturing nearly 110% of their tax assessment.  This break in correlation between assessed value and sales price has continued since the end of 2012.  This new ratio substantively confirms that a market return to normalcy is finally underway on Martha’s Vineyard.
  • For the year, Island towns transacted the following number of single-family homes and condominiums; Edgartown-123, Oak Bluffs-132, Vineyard Haven-74, West Tisbury-34, Chilmark-25, and Aquinnah-12.
  • The Island is a finite commodity having both geographic and economic barriers of entry that promote price supports not typically found in many primary real estate markets.
  • As desirable inventory is pared down, prices will continue to adjust as a function of supply and demand.  It is not surprising that the better priced, better conditioned properties are continuing to go under contract more quickly than their respective competition.
  • The operative themes that many of our clients (both Buyer & Seller) have voiced after successfully completing transactions with us were: identify your wants and needs, learn the market, develop reasonable expectations, perform your due diligence, and be prepared to act.

It is our expectation that 2015 will continue to feature an improving real estate market on Martha’s Vineyard that mirrors many primary market trends. We expect the increase in search activity to continue, especially from those who have long watched from the side-lines.  As the economy further demonstrates improvement, the absorption rate for Island property will likely increase, with sales prices modestly increasing too as inventory is consumed.  Lastly, rising interest rate risk will also provide some incentive for prospective buyers to act more sooner than later.

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 Island property is not in your future right now, there is still time to book your 2015 summer vacation rental.  Our inventory continues to grow featuring homes that accommodate most every need and represent every corner of the Island.  Please contact us to assist you with creating your dream vacation.  Our experienced rental agents are readily available to assist you in finding the perfect vacation home!

Please visit www.mvlandmarks.com to view a comprehensive list of all available Island listings for sale or rent.  And as always, do not hesitate to contact us with your questions concerning properties of interest, and Martha’s Vineyard real estate issues in general. 

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

Q3 2014 Martha's Vineyard Real Estate Market Summary

COLDWELL BANKER LANDMARKS

PREVIEWS INTERNATIONAL

Third Quarter Sales Commentary

By

Sean D. Federowicz, M.B.A.

Broker, Owner, Realtor

Greetings!  With another nine months in the books, we are again reminiscing over what was a near perfect summer on the Vineyard.  The weather was terrific, the usual seasonal events delivered enjoyment to their patrons, and the ferries and beaches were non-stop full. However, the typical real estate search activities, which didn't happen early in the spring due to Mother Nature's delayed arrival with warm weather, finally kicked in with consistency by July 4th and have been grinding along ever since.  In fact we envision another productive fall market still before us.

Despite the continued geo-political and economic issues, prudent investment decisions and lifestyle choices remain overriding considerations among buyers of Martha's Vineyard real estate.   With relative value, ample choice, compelling lending rates and options, coupled with a multi-year corrective period in place, we're experiencing continued search and acquisition activity as we migrate toward 2015.

Without question the dynamics among buyer and seller have returned to a more normal exchange between those who have it, and those who want it.   However, by no means has the Vineyard market recovered to the extent that many primary markets in the region have.  But the general market condition has favorably shifted.

The overall sentiment toward real estate as a financial asset has vastly improved since 2012, especially in second home markets like Martha's Vineyard.  Thus far, the average number of homes sold per month since 2012 has been a stable 30 plus units but with improved total unit sales consummating each September's end with 55 in 2013 and 51 this year.  We feel this is a direct correlation to the buyer's summer search activities that are realized in the quarter-end sales statistics.

We have previously referred to the Vineyard's market bottom as having occurred in Q4 of 2011. With the consistent degree of activity we have experienced year to date and year-over-year, we expect our micro-market to continue "normalizing" and follow the region's primary market trends.

Please consider the following;

  • The number of properties for sale has remained relatively constant for nearly six years now (700-750 total units).  Thus far in 2014, 277 residential homes were sold island-wide, which is down 10 units or (3.5%) as compared to the 287 sold in 2013 for the same period.
  • At the Quarter's close, year-over-year median home sale prices decreased nearly 12% from $650,000 to $575,000, with average home sales prices decreasing by a modest 5% from $980,706 to $929,444.
  • On average, YTD home sales on-Island have transacted at approximately 93% of their asking price while realizing 108% of their tax assessment.  This is a change from prior year sales' metrics, where the former trend of closed transactions previously illustrated a strong correlation between a town's tax assessment and the ultimate sale price. This correlation has now changed and suggests that sale prices exceeding assessed values are returning to the market.

Acquiring real estate in this largely second-home market is often a discretionary decision.  However, given the continued high levels of inventory across all price segments coupled with continued low interest rates, this arguably continues to be 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. In fact, the best of buyer's market conditions and inventory selection may be behind us.  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 Island 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 a terrific time to book your summer vacation rental for 2015.  Our strong Island-wide inventory features homes that accommodate most every need.  Our experienced rental agents are readily available to assist you in finding the perfect vacation home.  Please contact us to assist you with creating your dream vacation.

Q1 2014 Martha's Vineyard Real Estate Market Summary

COLDWELL BANKER LANDMARKS

PREVIEWS INTERNATIONAL

First Quarter 2014 Sales Commentary

by

Sean D. Federowicz, M.B.A.

Broker, Owner, Realtor

 

Winter's long hold appears to have released itself, and spring may finally have arrived, thankfully.  The interminably long winter certainly left its imprint on the Island real estate market.  And now the customary spring stirrings are sounding more like sudden and loud rustlings.  There is an underlying sense on-Island that any expectation of a leisurely unfolding Spring Market will emulate more of a "sprint" this year due to the impacts of the long winter.  So, with the first quarter of 2014 having expired, here is our latest commentary concerning the real estate transaction activity thus far on Martha's Vineyard.

Each of the early seasons's three-day holiday weekends were affected by poor weather that deterred the pursuit of any meangingful real estate activities.  However, with the warmth of spring now quickly approaching coupled with the gear-up to the customary spring real estate market, there is anticipation that we will make up for lost time.  We anticipate very active weekends working with prospective buyers who intend to acquire Island properties before summer arrives.

Last spring, we practitioners felt that 2013 was "the year" for a substantive improvement in transaction volume to take hold.  And that certainly materialized with 408 single family home transactions being consummated.  The confluence in pent-up demand, high levels of inventory, attractive home prices, and advantageous lending rates all came together nicely last year.

Many of these same variables still exist now in early 2014.  Attractive lending rates are still available, and inventory will begin to increase from off-season lows with the arrival of warmer weather and prospective buyers with continued confidence toward second home markets.

According to the National Association of Realtors projected forecast for the country's real estate market in 2014, the Cape & Islands will not experience the significant price increases that were seen last year, but rather will find a modest rate increase of approximatley 4-6% in prices regionally.

Interest in Martha's Vineyard real estate has remained constant as was demonstrated by the on-line search traffic during the first quarter.  And the Island still holds cachet and is considered a desirable destination for family recreation and relaxation no matter the season!

Here are the more meaningful statistics to consider from First Quarter 2014:

Inventory is beginning to creep higher from the holiday lows of approximatley 525 total units to 570 as of this writing.

Thus far in 2014, a total of 88 residential properties were sold among the Island towns: Edgartown-29, Oak Bluffs-26, Vineyard Haven-12, West Tisbury-9, Chilmark-6, and Aquinnah-0.

Median prices on-Island have decreased 13% from $605,000 to $527,500 compared to the same period in 2013.  Conversely, average prices have increased 25% from $878,978 to $1,098,691 for the same period.

On average, residential property sales have captured 93% of their asking prices and garnered nearly 105% of their respective tax assessments.  The strength of this correlation remains 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.  We've thus learned that, without question, the northeast as a region has fared better than many areas of the country.  And resort-vacation-destination type 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, 2014 may equally prove to be an idyllic year to make the commitment to acquiring an Island property.

And for home owners to consider, because the better conditioned and more realistically priced inventory has been recently consumed, this season could prove to be an opportune time to offer and successfully convey Island property for sale.

Regardless of which "camp" you may identify with, our agency has witnessed the good, the bad, and the ugly of the past several years.  The benefit of this market experience enables us to counsel our clients well.

As inventory begins to appear in advance of the "spring market", please visit http://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???

2013 Martha's Vineyard Real Estate Year in Review

 

COLDWELL BANKER LANDMARKS

PREVIEWS INTERNATIONAL

2013 Year In Review

by

Sean D. Federowicz, M.B.A.

Owner, Broker, Realtor

 

Greetings and a belated Happy New Year to one and all.  The year end numbers are now in allowing us to offer for your consideration our annual installment of "The Year in Review" concerning Martha's Vineyard real estate.

2013 proved to be the long awaited pivotal year for Island real estate activity and reflected a noticeably improved market.  Mother Nature did her best to provide us with another terrific summer season of dry and seasonably warm months for our patrons to fully enjoy the usual and customary activities and events too.

Here are some facts, observations, and opinions that may help you to formulate your own point of view with respect to Martha's Vineyard real estate.

  • Overall, sentiment toward real estate by the consumer as cited by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), Zillow, and even Case-Schiller, has finally regained a favorable tone.  This perspective has especially resonated with strength among second home seekers in vacation/destination markets like Martha's Vineyard, as investments often made in these market segments are for both financial and emotional purposes.
  • The 4th Quarter again realized a significant volume of residential sales on-Island (121) exceeding Q1(63), Q2(99) and continuing the strength of Q3(125).  Of note is the inventory of properties for sale which has decreased significantly from the seasonal high of approximatley 820 in August to 623 at this writing.  Yet, with supply still exceeding consumption, days on market continues to be lengthy but is dissipating more quickly.  Total residential sales improved modestly by 2% closing the year with 408 units.  The median sales price on-Island increased from $595,000 to $632,450 while average prices essentially remained flat from $1,046,039 to $1,041,549 year-end 2013 over year-end 2012 respectively.
  • Notably, successful residential sales on-Island were found across all price segments inclusive of the high-value niche, averaging an approximate 94% of their asking price, but capturing 110% of their respective tax assessment.  This is a break in correlation between the tax assessed value and transacted value which largely held true for the past few years.  And while there are exceptions, and every property is subject to location, condition, uniqueness and scarcity, this new ratio substantively suggests that a market recovery may finally be underway on Martha's Vineyard.
  • Since the height of the market in 2006, recovery had been slow to evlove on-Island.  However, 2013 demonstrated the most consistent ground swell of activity toward the acquisition of Martha's Vineyard real estate in years.
  • For the year, Island towns transacted the following number of properties; Edgartown-136, Oak Bluffs-96, Vineyard Haven-72, West Tisbury-48, Chilmark-23, Aquinnah-7.
  • Many industry commentators continue to espouse that widespread local market improvement has taken hold and is now providing a return to positive equity for homeowners in both primary and other niche markets alike. Last year, Core Logic forecasted a 6% increase in national sale prices for 2013.  According to NAR, sales in fact increased by nearly double that projection to close up 11.3% for the year!  The Vineyard enjoyed similar price improvement, and NAR expects this positive trend to continue in 2014.
  • Based upon the consistent level of closed transactions on-Island during 2013, there is good reason for market optimism.  This sentiment is expected to continue especially as consumer confidence strengthens, home prices firm and continue to reflect relative fair market value.  But perhaps most importanly, the risk of borrowing cost increases resulting from the reported economic recovery and Federal Reserve monetary policy action will now prod prospective buyers to act sooner rather than later.
  • For perspective, at year-end 2012 the 30 year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.52%.  A year later, Freddie Mac reported that the 30 year rates averaged just under 4.5%.  Many economists are now predicting that interest rates will likely rise to 5% or higher later in 2014.
  • Real estate is a cyclical business and all real estate is local.  The Island's consistent sales volume coupled with the notable increase in sale prices suggests that we too are on the proper road toward "normalcy".  The Island is after all, a finite commodity having both geographic and economic barriers to entry that promote differing forms of price support not typically found in many primary real estate markets.
  • There still is a tremendous amount of interest and demand to own property on the Vineyard as was demonstrated in the recent sales statistics.  Opportunity and choice still exists.  But as desireable inventory is pared down, prices will continue to adjust upward; it's simple economics and the function of supply and demand.  Therefore, it is not surprising that the better priced, better conditioned properties are continuing to go under contract more quickly than their respective competition.
  • The operative themes that many of our clients (both Buyer & Seller) have voiced repeatedly after successfully completing transactions with our assistance were; identify your wants and needs, learn the market, develop reasonable expectations, perform your due diligence, and be prepared to act.

It is our expectation that 2014 will continue to feature an improving real estate market on Martha's Vineyard.  We expect an increase in search activity to occur, especially from those who have long watched from the side-lines, as confidence further develops to re-enter the market.  The absorption rate of current inventory will increase along with sales prices as a result of the improving economy and contracting inventory.  Increased borrowing costs as interest rates rise will offer risk to the consumer, but the improved attitude toward Island real estate as an investment will add to the improving market dynamic. 

Certainly anything can happen during the course of a year, of course, and the Island's resilience as a discretionary market of dersire will be tested yet again.  However, for those individuals who perform their due dilligence, 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 Island property is not in your future right now, there is still time to book your 2014 summer vacation rental, but time is running out!  Our inventory continues to grow featuring homes that accommodate most every need and represent every corner of the Island.  Please contact us to assist you with creating your dream vacation.  Our experienced rental agents are readily available to assist you in finding the perfect vacation home!

Q2 2014 Martha's Vineyard Real Estate Market Summary

COLDWELL BANKER LANDMARKS

PREVIEWS INTERNATIONAL

Second Quarter Sales Commentary

By

Sean D. Federowicz, M.B.A.

 Broker, Owner, Realtor

 

Happy summer from the Vineyard!  Apologies for the delay in disseminating our normal and customary quarterly missive.  It has been a busy and chaotic start to the summer season, especially since the spring market was truncated by Mother Nature this year.  And we have also recently launched our new web site (www.mvlandmarks.com) that we hope continues to deliver meaningful information and valuable insight into Martha’s Vineyard real estate.  

With the summer buying season now at hand, please allow us to share some market commentary concerning the market activity thus far on-Island.  The positive and improving sentiment toward Island real estate continues with a measured but consistent number of transactions being consummated.  We are observing an increase in search activity by prospective buyers demonstrating more intent and action this season comparative to last year.  Median and Average sales prices have improved year over year too.   And while we continue to carry an above average level of inventory, it is still the better priced, better conditioned, ideally located and more unique properties that continue to generate interest and garner bids.

Transaction volume is increasing on-Island, and now that the weather has vastly improved since late spring, the composition of our inventory is evolving quickly as well with new listings arriving weekly.  Prices have remained relatively consistent within each market segment and the low interest rate mortgage climate still remains available.  But noticeably different this season is that consumer confidence has markedly improved toward discretionary purchases like vacation, second-home acquisitions.  All told, Martha’s Vineyard still offers opportunity and relative value in comparison to many other like-kind markets, but choice of inventory and attractive finaincing 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 2014: 

Inventory has crept higher from the early spring to reflect 721 total units as of this writing.  The total value of listed real estate on-Island equates to $1.5B. 

Thus far in 2014, a total of 174 residential properties were sold among the Island towns:  Edgartown-55, Oak Bluffs-57, Vineyard Haven-31, West Tisbury-15, Chilmark-13, and Aquinnah-3.

Year-to-date median sale prices on-Island have increased 5% from $550,000 to $578,000 along with improved average sale prices also increasing by 7.3% from $899,000 to $965,000 compared to the same period in 2013.

Year-to-date sales have captured 93.3% of their final asking prices and garnered almost 104% of their respective tax assessments.  The strength of this correlation remains subject to factors such as condition, amenity, 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.  We’ve learned that, without question, the northeast as a region has fared 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.