Martha’s Vineyard real estate agents offer insight for 2012


Susan Cahoon, Homes on Martha’s Vineyard

“The pressure is on to keep the mortgage rates low, to stimulate the economy, and show improvement in the many factors that impact housing. Unemployment numbers are around 8.2 percent, GNP numbers are hovering around 2 percent and these indicators are not strong enough to support any statements about the economy improving on a long-term basis. That will be the task and the major subject of the presidential campaign.

The administration will push for improvements in all segments to assist in their platform, whether Republican or Democrat. Buyers and sellers can benefit from this. Normally, prices are higher when interest rates are lower — we haven’t seen that in the last few years. We may see those days return, so now is an optimum time to buy.

On the flip side, if you don’t need to sell and can hang on for a year or so, do that, and see how the market reflects the political demographic that will come with the election.”

Bill LeRoyer, Harborside Realty

“I think the market will continue to improve but at a slow rate. That rate will be detected by what happens in the financial market, both here in the U.S. and aboard.

The election will also play a part as it always does. Natural for people to wait to see who gets elected. The main reason buyers are reluctant to jump into the second home market is confidence in economy. If that confidence gets better, so will our market.”

Vera Thornton Della Russo

“Housing market forecasts are mixed, with Zillow predicting that the market will not reach a national bottom until 2013. However, on Martha’s Vineyard there has been an increase in sales for the first quarter over last year. The second home market is up, and investors are taking advantage of record low interest rates.

Art Smadbeck, Priestley Smadbeck & Mone

“The market has been very active during the first quarter of 2012. There has been a lull recently that may affect our second quarter numbers, but I am hopeful that by July we will see a pick up in the market numbers. It appears that real estate values have stabilized here on the Vineyard and properties that are priced correctly will sell.”

Lesley Heidt and Courtney Marek, Sandpiper Realty

“If only we had a crystal ball…the first quarter of 2012 was stronger in both sold units and gross dollars than that of 2011. Furthermore, we continue to see a good deal of buyer activity and are hopeful that it equates to sales and a strong second quarter.

That being said, historically, election years are not kind to the real estate market and so how the market fares at the close of 2012 will be most interesting.”

Alan Schweikert, Ocean Park Realty

“Although most economic indicators are showing that our economy is slowly going in the right direction and struggling to climb out of its trough, election years have traditionally created some instability in the market.

I believe that the housing market in general will continue to struggle, like the economy, but will continue to move into positive territory. Demand is not going to outstrip supply anytime soon, but it will continue to strengthen as more and more prospective buyers take advantage of great mortgage rates, the good variety of the supply, and the attractive prices of available properties.”