LANDMARKS REAL ESTATE
Third Quarter Sales Commentary
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.