As people grow more comfortable with the economy, the second-home market in the posh islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket reap the benefits.
“The increases are dramatic. You have to be cautious about a small statistical sample, but it’s certainly an indication that more people are interested in vacation properties,” said Timothy Warren, president of the Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman.
Nantucket had a 129 percent increase in sales last quarter compared to the first quarter of 2009, and Dukes County, which encompasses Martha’s Vineyard, had a 141 percent jump. There were 82 sales in Dukes County up from 34 in 2009 and 39 in Nantucket compared to 17 in the first quarter of 2009.
According to Penny Dey, a veteran Nantucket broker and co-owner of Atlantic East Real Estate, 2009 was an abysmal year for sales, but so far 2010 has been a total turnaround. Dey believes sales in 2010 will exceed $500 million compared to $430 million in 2009.
The median home prices in Dukes County have also increased with a jump from $432,000 in the first quarter of 2009 to $607,000 last quarter. In Nantucket, however, the prices continue to drop from $1.6 million in the first quarter of 2009 to $1.1 million in 2010.
Dey believes the drop is attributed to a correction in the extremely pricey Nantucket market, where property values tripled in the past 10 years, and reached an average price of $2.2 million in 2008.