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Martha's Vineyard Real Estate: 2020 Q1 Market Commentary

First and foremost, we at Landmarks hope that this commentary finds you and yours all healthy and safe during these unprecedented times. None of us are familiar with being idle at this time of year, and frankly find it an unsettling departure from the rhythms of the season. The coronavirus and subsequent social distancing policies have certainly interrupted our customary activities and relationships related to real estate on-Island. However, when we are able to return to a sense of normalcy, we will be ready to assist and serve our customers and clients.

Since most of us are now more available to research various topics of interest with far less haste, please allow us to share the real estate activity that was recorded on-Island for the first quarter.

The mild winter weather experienced across much of the south coast of New England, coupled with the low interest rate environment, contributed to some quick and successful transactions early in the year. Before the COVID-19 interruption, we practitioners had been speculating as to ‘how much and from which segments’ we would realize new additions of inventory to help replenish the high rate of consumption we experienced during the past five seasons.

Unfortunately, the answer to that question remains unanswered at this time. However, since our agency has been in consultation with several prospective sellers who intend to list their property, but are electing to remain inactive until summer, I can reasonably assume that other local agencies are having similar conversations. Nonetheless, inventory is likely to remain tight regardless of what may materialize this season.

Much as the closing months of 2019 have demonstrated, the First Quarter median and average sales prices on-Island became directly correlated with the characteristics found within the current inventory. By far, the most active segment of the market was found below $1.5M. However, as mentioned, available inventory within this segment will remain tight. And while the higher price, luxury segments still offer many options, pricing strategy within those segments remains critical, as that audience of buyers is comparatively smaller.

Once the local market resumes “normal” transactional activities, we expect the fundamental laws of supply and demand to return, but our finite market will operate in a clearly changed social environment.

For your consideration, here are the meaningful, and perhaps surprising statistics from activity realized during the First Quarter of 2020.

Last year at this time, there were 393 total listed units. As of this writing, there are 289. As aforementioned, there likely will be an influx of listings forthcoming to participate in the delayed “spring market”. But this season will be different by most every measure.

A total of 102 residential properties were sold among the Island towns within the First Quarter this year, which is interestingly 85% more than were sold a year ago. The majority of these sales conveyed in January and February before the Covid-19 lock down was instituted in early March. Home sales were found across the Island as follows: Edgartown-36, Oak Bluffs-26, Vineyard Haven-22, West Tisbury-8, Chilmark-7, and Aquinnah-3.

Quarterly Statistics Courtesy of LINK

Q1 2020 MV Real Estate Town Table

Q1 2020 Martha's Vineyard Sales by TownQ1 2020 Martha's Vineyard Dollar Volume by Town

Median sales prices on-Island for Q1 decreased 9% from $950,000 to $869,000 compared to the same period in 2019, with average prices also decreasing 32% from $2.099M to$1.435M during the same period.

Q1 2020 Median & Average Sales Prices on Martha's Vineyard

On average, residential property sales thus far have captured 94.2% of their final asking prices and garnered 127% of their respective tax assessments. However, the strength of this correlation remains highly 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 and industry trends. And there is a developing financial concern stemming from the virus’ impact that will affect the national real estate market. So, for those who have vested themselves in the search for Vineyard real estate, are well oriented and prepared, 2020 may afford a unique opportunity to acquire an Island property during this global paradigm shift.

If a purchase of an Island property is not in your future right now, there is still time to book your 2020 summer vacation rental. Our inventory features homes that accommodate most every need and represent every corner of the Island. But availability for best properties and weeks is waning. Please contact us to assist you in creating your dream vacation!

Please visit to view a comprehensive list of all available Island listings for sale or vacation rental. 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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