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Martha's Vineyard Third Quarter Real Estate Sales Commentary


Third Quarter Sales Commentary
Sean D. Federowicz, M.B.A.
Broker, Owner, Realtor

It is hard to believe that another season is now in the books, and we are again reminiscing over what was a near perfect summer on Martha’s Vineyard.  The weather was idyllic, and the usual seasonal events delivered plenty of enjoyment to its patrons. The ferries and beaches were non-stop full, and the real estate market on-Island continued a positive, albeit more modest trajectory from 2015. The typical springtime real estate search activities began haphazardly but gained steam as we migrated into summer. And we have been been actively in the field with clients ever since with the expectation that a productive fall market is unfolding before us.

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 relative value, choice, and compelling lending rates still available, we are anticipating continued search and acquisition activity through year-end before the holidays and quieter winter months arrive.

The confluence of events that has enabled Martha’s Vineyard to retain market traction this season still has room to run before emulating the conditions found among many primary markets, which is arguably a supply driven issue focused upon the limited availability of quality properties for sale. That is not the condition on-Island.  However, the general local market dynamic and sentiment has notably improved with more interest and greater activity from buyers and sellers alike.

After closing a robust and markedly intense 2015 season, and given the continued degree of activity that we have experienced year to date and year-over-year, we expect our micro-market to continue “normalizing” and follow both the region’s primary and other second home market trends.

Please consider the following;

  • Year to date 301 residential properties have sold on Martha’s Vineyard, which is down 5.3% from the 318 sold for the same period in 2015.
  • Q3 alone conveyed 106 residential properties, down modestly by 15.0% from the 124 sold in 2015 for the same period.
  • The number of properties for sale however, has remained relatively constant for nearly seven years.  There are currently 637 total active listings representing $1.441B of listed real estate on-Island.
  • At the Quarter’s close, year-over-year median home sale prices increased 10.0% from $690,500 to $756,125, but average home sales prices decreased by 14.0% from $1,337,104 to $1,156,539 for the period.  These metrics speak to the change in price segment participation this season from last year, reflecting the properties sold.
  • On average, YTD home sales on-Island have transacted at approximately 95% of their asking price while realizing 125% 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.

Acquiring real estate in this largely second-home market is often a discretionary decision.  However, given the consistently high level of inventory coupled with continued low interest rates, this arguably remains 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.  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 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 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 an opportune time to book your summer vacation rental for 2017.  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 with creating your dream vacation!


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