Real Estate Trends: Martha’s Vineyard

In recent years, real estate has suffered major price setbacks due to foreclosures, and the supply overhang of foreclosed real estate. But the old adage of Real Estate value, Location, Location, Location still applies. Today we will look at Real Estate in one of the prime locations in the U.S.: Martha’s Vineyard.

Real Estate Trends: Martha’s Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard is often considered the jewel of the Cape Cod area by East Coast natives.  Internationally-known for its affluent seasonal residents and opulent, seaside-themed homes, the property values compete with some of the highest-priced homes in the United States.  A 400 SF cabin close to the beach can easily cost a quarter of a million dollars in this swanky and ultra-trendy island that is part of historic Massachusetts.

Appeal and Population

Real Estate TrendsJust a small island located South of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard has a steady population of just over 10,000 annual residents.  But when the summer arrives and affluent people begin planning their vacations, the summer population increases ten times its normal population.  It is not unusual for 100,000 plus people to flock to the breezy, windswept sandy beaches of this New England island during the summer. This charming retreat has been firmly established as a prime vacation destination for the rich and celebrated.

Boasting charming coffee shops, idyllic coastal scenery, and brightly-colored homes and affluent shops, it is easy to understand why people prize this area as their favored getaway.  When vacationers visit Martha’s Vineyard during their summer holidays, they will not lack exciting and opulent places to shop.  As featured on Martha’s Vineyard Online, a variety of sophisticated clothing boutiques, jewelry stores, furniture stores and knickknack gift shops are sprinkled heavily throughout the traditional marketplaces of MV.

The Cost of Homes

The high cost of houses is primarily due to the fact that the island is nestled in the midst of breathtaking scenery and offers a diverse array of family-friendly activities, shopping ventures and world-class dining options.  Because the island is small (supply is limited) and the desire to reside and vacation in this area is explosive (demand is high), so the housing and property costs for Martha’s Vineyard easily rivals the most expensive areas to live in the nation.

A well-kept carriage house with fashionable features such as hardwood floors and stainless steel appliances that offers four to five bedrooms can cost a buyer up to $1,500,000.  A smaller home, with three bedrooms and basic contemporary architecture can cost up to $700,000 and higher.  Rental homes can range from $2,000 per week to $10,000 per week, depending on the location, scale and opulence of the home.

The Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce claims there is availability for apartment rentals for vacationers who want to check the most affordable options available to this island.  Many beach house owners and cottage owners who have premium property reside in their vacation homes a few weeks out of the year.  The rest of the year, they rent out the homes to vacationers who want to spend a few days or a few weeks along this highly-acclaimed New England beach retreat.


Even Martha’s Vineyard isn’t immune to the effects of the housing crisis. According to Realty Trac as of this writing there were 88 foreclosures and pre-foreclosures in Duke’s county. This of course will have a  depressing force on the market. However, even with the foreclosure overhang on the market these foreclosures are still listed at premium prices. A recent foreclosure 19 Manors Cove La. with only 3 Bedrooms 2 Baths and 1655 sq. ft it is expected to sell at foreclosure for $550, 000.  It’s tax assessment value in 2008 was $1,071,200. But even at half of what it was valued at in 2008 it is still selling for $332/sq. ft. while the median Sale Price per sq. ft in the entire U.S. is only $118.

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This piece was composed by Kevin Strawberry, a writer based in the greater metro area of Carson City, Nevada; he takes a strong interest in real estate generally, and a particular interest in high end New England residences as well as Las Vegas condos.

Image courtesy of Tom Curtis /

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