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Recently, The Martha's Vineyard Times did an on-line Q&A Session with a several Vineyard real estate brokers regarding the state of our real estate market. Following are the questions they posed along with my response:
Martha's Vineyard real estate sales appear to have fallen a little in volume and a lot in price. Is that your office's experience? If not, what has been your experience? And, what is your office doing that's new to energize the real estate market on Martha's Vineyard?
Statistical data speaks volumes in this regard. We regularly track market activity so that we're able to properly counsel our clients. The stats that follow clearly show that the number of sales has fallen more than "a little"; Vineyard sales YTD have declined over 40% compared to 2005 and, given that very few sales are currently reported as pending, that percentage is likely to be higher by year end.
It is a little more difficult to precisely track how much prices have come down - we've estimated approximately 15%, and the state association recently came out saying that the statewide number is 15.3%. This will vary by price range, location and other factors so prospective buyers should not expect this type of reduction across the board.
Since the real estate market is, and always has been cyclical, it's important for buyers and sellers to be properly counseled to identify their goals and to act accordingly. Counseling is a major part of our client service.
This has, undoubtedly, been a year of change; our agency is well positioned with nearly 40 years of service as well as previous experience in down markets, giving us a distinct advantage in a market that is always competitive (more than 80 real estate offices on a 22-mile-wide Island).
The fall and the spring have traditionally been the big real estate sales periods on Martha's Vineyard. Are buyers adhering to that longstanding pattern, or is there another pattern developing?
During the recent boom period, the Island real estate industry became more or less a "year-round" business with one season blending into another in terms of productivity - still generating more on-site lookers in the summer months but ongoing activity at all other times of year. The seasonal aspect of real estate returned in full force in the winter of 2007-2008, and we anticipate that this trend will continue until the market turns up again. Remember that the Island never had a "year-round" real estate business until the boom in the 1980s.
What are you telling buyers and sellers about what they should expect in terms of pricing, volume of desirable listings, length of time a seller may expect to see his property on the market?
Location, Condition and Price - These are always the three factors that govern the marketability of a property, days on market etc. This age old adage continues to hold true. It is the duty of good real estate professionals to fully inform and counsel their clients on all three factors as they relate to a specific property.
Inventory has increased more than 40% in three years. Even worse, it's increased by 23% in this year alone - inventory numbers for the past three years are illustrated here:
A bit more positive perspective can be maintained through this downturn by understanding the natural cycle of real estate and making certain that, as either an owner or a potential buyer, you're well informed:
As a PROPERTY OWNER, you should be properly positioned to meet your goals in the most advantageous way possible; seek all professional counsel available to assist you.
As a prospective BUYER, become a leader, not a follower - don't buy when the market is high and you're competing with everyone else, buy when the market is down and you stand out. Get educated and stay tuned....
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.