LANDMARKS REAL ESTATE
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.
According 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.
Continuing 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.
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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