Vacation homes get back to work on Martha’s Vineyard

This house in North Edgartown is listed for $595,000.

An affordable home on Martha’s Vineyard was a pipe dream before the recession. With investors invigorating the market this year, prices may soon start soaring once again. So if you’re looking to buy, hurry up!

“Sales are up about 26 percent in our market,” says Vineyard-based realtor Doug Reece of RE/MAX on Island. “It’s even better than 2011. There are more showings, and rentals are up too. There are lots of investors pulling out money and buying homes for the rental market.”

Back in 2005 when the market peaked, properties started at around $500,000.

“Right now, entry level is $270,000 to $280,000,” says Reece, adding, “That [drop] has been driven by foreclosures and short sales. It’s not as high here as in other areas, but those impacted us too.”

The activity is the result of that magical real estate market-stimulating triumvirate of low prices, incredibly low mortgage interest rates and high inventory. And it’s not only realtors who are busy this season either.

“People in the trade are smiling,” says Reece. “Carpenters, painters and contractors are all really busy because of the market activity. People are fixing up, ready to sell, and buyers are doing alterations.”

Part of Martha’s Vineyard’s mystique is its famous inhabitants. For the past few years, when the Obamas vacationed on the island, putting the Vineyard on major news stations and in newspapers, Reece says people from far and wide started looking into renting or buying: “He has such a positive effect on the perception of the island worldwide. We see an increase of callers every time he stays here.”

Buy now:

77 13th St., North Edgartown, Mass.
This 10-year-old single-family home has 2,086 square feet of living space, including three beds and two baths. The interior design is open-plan and includes a field-stone fireplace in the living area. The house is set on a spacious lot (0.21 acres) and has easy access to the town boat landing nearby.
Listing price: $595,000
Listing agent: Doug Reece, RE/MAX on Island,


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