The State of the Housing Market on Martha’s Vineyard


This week, I decided to stroll over to the other side of our Sandpiper office and talk to my colleague, Elaine Miller, about the state of the housing marketing – buyers, sellers, on the Vineyard and across the U.S.

Anne: What’s your take on the national housing market?
Elaine: The housing market escalated in a short period of time to extremely high values.  It was realistically necessary for it to plateau and moderate as it did before and as the same cycle in the stock market needed to be corrected.  The economic crisis exacerbated the downward motion of the real estate market and followed the spiral of everything else.

Anne: And the market on the island? Is it different or the same? How?
Elaine: We are a second home market and no one needs our product.  It is a luxury item and the easiest item a potential buyer can remove from their wish list.  On the other side of the coin is the fact that the majority of our owners are not financially required to sell their property and will either resort to renting it or waiting out the current low market.  Though we have a large inventory, our average reduction in value is approximately 15% whereas the balance of the state is experiencing a 30% to 40% value reduction.

Anne: What do you predict will happen with the market on the island this summer?
Elaine: I have increased the size of my crystal ball and it is still not providing me with concrete answers.  I do however feel that once the confidence level in our economy is stabilized, buyers will realize that they are experiencing the best values with the lowest interest rates that they may see again for a very long time, and that this is the time to make a purchase.  The low value reduction of 15% in one of the worst economic crisis the country has seen in several decades is a further indication of the strength of making an investment in real estate on Martha’s Vineyard while enjoying all the benefits of your investment.

Anne: We’ve all heard the rumor that the Obama’s will be joining us this season – either for the entire summer or just for a visit, do you imagine that will have an impact on the island’s economy?
Elaine: The Clinton’s constant visits to the Island gave it global panache.  When they left, some of that public awareness went with them.  If the Obama’s return to enjoy the pleasures of our great Island, their visits will highlight the beauty and desirability of Martha’s Vineyard.

Anne: Any advice for folks looking to buy or sell a home right now?
Elaine: If you are planning to sell your home get a realistic Opinion of Value from a real estate agent, have confidence in the office and agent representing you and be patient. If you are a buyer, this is the moment.  The inventory provides for a broad selection of wonderful homes and don’t let this opportunity pass.

Thank you, Elaine!

If you’re interested in buying or selling a home on Martha’s Vineyard, I’d be happy to connect you with Elaine!

2 thoughts on “The State of the Housing Market on Martha’s Vineyard”

  1. I’m curious to know if you’ve seen an increase in foreign buyers as the dollar is so weak…or is everyone cutting back?
    Interesting interview.

  2. Hi Janine,

    We have been seeing foreign buyers and renters but since September it has cut back. Many of our foreign clients do have some connections to the US whether they used to live here or have a spouse that may still be a citizen….

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