Sponsored: Real Estate Confidential: New middle of the market


Real Estate Confidential is a weekly chit chat about new listings, sales, or other insider info on the Martha’s Vineyard real estate market, by Fred Roven, Martha’s Vineyard Buyer Agents. It appears each Friday in The Minute.

I have been pouring over statistics of the current Martha’s Vineyard housing market for hours in an attempt to make sense of home prices.  Nationwide, with prices going in one direction even with higher mortgage rates, the demand continues in a market with limited inventory. Clearly, the demand for homes on Martha’s Vineyard continues, with my favorite stat, days on market (DOM) down 20 percent in a year to 135 days, a significant drop from recent highs over 300 days. I am a bit concerned that some homes, and the average overall, has grown past a reasonable level, possibly by a significant amount.

Both median and average prices of sold properties has dropped slightly from 2017 and possibly a trend to watch at least for the rest of the 2018 season. Over the long term I see no reason for the growth in the 21st century to change direction but in the short term, there may be some excellent opportunities. After removing the top and bottom 20 percent of the market in terms of price to reduce the risk of any anomalies and removing smaller homes, I find the average price of homes sold compared to average price of those on the market now to have a million dollar spread. Some of this has to do with luxury and waterfront homes in the higher-price tier remaining on the market longer than others but still, I believe there are, or at least should be, some excellent values in the range between the two averages: from $1,250,000 to $2,250,000.

My first bit of advice is to ignore the listed price and determine what a home is worth to you in this moment in time. There are plenty of online tools to help, and your broker can help with a Broker Price Opinion (BPO) or Competitive Market Analysis (CMA). You could hire a professional appraiser and my advice is to wait on that step until you apply for a mortgage or have a confirmation of value clause in your offer. Your broker can show you where the home of your dreams sits in value between properties currently on the market and then compared to recent  sales of similar homes. If those two observations show a large spread in dollar values, I believe you have found a home that might be ripe for sale at a significantly reduced price.

I caution you though not to raise your expectations above the reality of the market. Seller’s priced their homes at what might have been a correct value last spring. If the price has been reduced or there have been signs the seller is ready to “deal” because of the season or personal considerations, there may be several buyers out there ready to “pounce.” Make a realistic offer based on past sales but make it strong enough to get the seller’s attention and be prepared for competing offers. I am still convinced, the stars and planets line up and properties that have been on the market for months or years suddenly get the attention of multiple buyers looking for their own dream.

Picking my favorite this week from a possible list was easy. The contemporary home at 80 Obed Daggett Road in West Tisbury with walk to deeded beach access on the North Shore shines.  The home features great light, an open floor plan with soaring ceilings, a screened porch and deck giving a tree-house feel plus peeks of the water. The beach access is an easy walk/bike/drive from the house and includes parking plus extensive walking trails at Cedar Tree Neck, both wooded and along the beach, which is just beyond the beach access.

I cannot figure out why the idyllic Island retreat with a classically styled New England colonial at 62 Weaver Court in Vineyard Haven has not sold yet. The home has 4,500 SF of easy living with an expansive third floor with views of Vineyard Haven Harbor plus another room above the attached garage. At one mile away, the village is a short walk or bike away for dining and entertainment, plus you are an even shorter walk to the Land Bank Ramble Trail Preserve for that morning dog walk or stroll to the nearby public beach and boat landing for an afternoon out on the water. There are even Conservation Commission approvals for an in-ground pool on the property. An exceptional home and an exceptional value.

Because of the proximity to Tradewinds and adjacent to Farm Neck, the home at 32 Harthaven Road is my best boy (dog) Nico’s favorite. We have often admired it from our trail walks and once I got inside, was sold on the house and location as one primed for sale. The colonial style home is a 4 bedroom with private baths and walk-in closets plus an expansive, screened-in porch with views over the 75 acres of conservation land. Living in desirable Harthaven gives you access to association beaches, a small boat harbor, tennis and nearby bike trail provides easy access to “big bridge,” Oak Bluffs, and Edgartown.

And what if your Island dream is up-Island with access to some of the best beaches the Island and the East Coast has to offer. The recently reduced in price custom home at 114 Middle Road in Chilmark has a lot more to offer than just beautiful beaches. The home features the highest quality materials, finishes and mechanics; custom panelling, millwork and cabinetry in every room; the much desired open concept floor plan with cathedral ceilings, an impressive stone fireplace and a spectacular chef’s kitchen with top of the line appliances. These are all features in this truly unique property  you would find in homes priced twice as high as this middle of the market gem.

For a look at many properties that are prime for end-of-season offers, check out Middle of the Market-Martha’s Vineyard.

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