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2014 Martha's Vineyard Real Estate Year in Review



2014 Year in Review


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 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???

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