Martha’s Vineyard Real Estate : Hope for 2011

by Kerry on January 3, 2011

Martha's Vineyard real estate 2011


January is a time of renewal, hope, expectations. It is a new year literally, a blank page that can be written however we like. We get to start over.   A new year = the possibility of a BETTER year.

For the majority of us a better year is a natural expectation. The past couple of years have been economically devastating for many, not to mention the emotional cost of fear and apprehension. We all want/need/expect better. We have  become believers in tomorrow, ’cause today sure didn’t do it for us. We are all watching the ever-influential media for signs of recovery, signs of hope.

Real estate is the nucleus of the economy, particularly the Vineyard economy. It is the largest generator of finances, the furnace, and the companies that manage them are the coal shovelers…we,by default, are the coal . When times are tough, real estate is the first place we look for information on what is really going on. Is the housing market stable? Are lenders lending? Are interest rates climbing? Falling? stagnating? How about the inventory, is it appropriate, or is it flooded.  Can you get a bargain? Can you afford even the most lucrative deal if it presented itself?

The past couple of years have been an easy read for Vineyard real estate, which is our compass towards the economy in general. After all, our livelihoods depend on it. We are a community of real estate services. Our income is dependent on home services. From rental income to renovations, housing is our business. Those seasonal homes that line the  streets are year round sources of income on the Vineyard.  The majority of year round residents are contractors in all fields, mortgage lenders, appraisers, landscapers, insurance adjusters, attorneys, real estate professionals. We rent them, sell them, finance them, paint them, renovate them. We build them and move them and winterize them and then we covet them.

Looking back over the past few years, our real estate  inventory has steadily climbed.We have  properties in circulation that were listed in 2007, 2008 and on. Sales were down to few and far between, and  the prices were stubbornly steadfast until the writing on the wall  was printed in red ink.We had (and continue to have) a flurry of foreclosures, mostly from our precious year round community.

This past year has been more promising. There were some price adjustments that have encouraged sales, bringing out some of those buyers who’ve been waiting for the right set of circumstances to make their move. Interest rates are at amazingly low levels, inventory is up and prices are finally adjusting. Brokers were busier with listings and showings, and rentals were consistent with past years(because even if they are not buying, everybody still wants to be here).

This next year should yield similar results, bringing out more buyers, cutting into the inventory and hopefully moderating that sense of freefall that has affected the residents of this real estate centric community. 2011 is just beginning and is full of promise. We have the blank page and have written the first word. Hope.

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