What to Expect From the Current Martha’s Vineyard Real Estate Market

The O'Hanlon Group


For decades, Martha’s Vineyard has been one of New England’s quintessential vacation spots and a destination that all Americans hope to visit at least once in their lifetime. In recent years, several city dwellers have had the freedom to work wherever they like, and the prospect of permanently living somewhere like Martha’s Vineyard has become attainable and a reality. Those hoping to set down permanent roots or upgrade their summer vacation homes to more comfortable full-time residences would benefit from knowing a few things about the local real estate market. Here are some recent trends on Martha’s Vineyard’s current real estate market and how they compare to years past.

A varying market

Those looking to buy or sell property on Martha’s Vineyard should remember it is not a traditional market. Martha’s Vineyard is primarily a seasonal vacation destination, with some residents only visiting during the busy summer season. The real estate market has also traditionally been seasonal in previous years. However, more demand has been created as more companies have allowed their employees to work remotely and more people vacate their city apartments. The “off-season” market has traditionally seen lower inventory and activity levels than spring and summer, but it has picked up in the past two years. The O’Hanlon Group can elaborate further on the specific state of the market when you get ready to make your move.

Pricing examples

Prices on Martha’s Vineyard vary, from very small sums for plots of bare land, all the way up to beachfront palaces, with some going as high as $92 million for a compound property. As of July 2022, the average price of a single-family home was slightly over $2 million, compared to slightly under $2 million a year before. So far, for all of 2022, the median price has been $1.35 million compared to 2021’s price of $1.2 million. However, these prices are influenced and subject to change due to factors such as location and beachfront access, among other things.

The buyer and seller experience

Currently, the real estate market across the nation is pretty hot. Prices are higher than they have been in years past, and homes are selling quicker than they used to, thanks mainly in part to pent-up demand triggered by COVID-19. Now that most lockdown restrictions have been lifted and we are able to freely roam about, many have realized their old living situation just did not fit their lifestyles.
For many, this means buying their dream home and permanently setting up shop in a beautiful vacation town or somewhere more peaceful. Since 2020, the demand to buy property on Martha’s Vineyard has been uber-high. Sales prices for 2022 are higher than they have ever been due to the high demand. Fewer homes being up for sale has also contributed to a competitive seller’s market. For buyers, this means being prepared to make aggressive offers which may be for the full asking price or higher. Being flexible on terms will be important for both buyers and sellers. When sellers decide to list their homes, they should know that showing requests and offers will come quickly. All in all, buyers and sellers should prepare for action from the get-go.

Will you be there all year long?

Again, while more and more people are moving out of cramped city apartments thanks to an increased desire to work from home, you may not be ready to make a move to the island a permanent one just yet. How much time you plan on spending on Martha’s Vineyard each year will determine the type of home you purchase, so you need to ask yourself: What are your plans? Is this going to be your primary residence? Are you just going to be there a few months or weeks a year? If so, would you want to turn this home into an investment property of sorts when you aren’t there?
The right Martha’s Vineyard real estate agent can also guide you through the process of renting out your home. There are a few bullet points to take into consideration, though. Are there any restrictions on these types of rentals in your neighborhood? Is there a minimum lease term you must adhere to? If you are not particularly close to Martha’s Vineyard, will you need someone local to assist in turndown/makeready services and general upkeep? These are all specifics which The O’Hanlon Group can quickly help you with, thanks to their 30+ combined years of experience on the island.

Shoreline real estate

Homes situated upon the beach will require extra paperwork to go with your contract. These documents, legally required by title companies to close a transaction, need to be reviewed by an experienced professional with specific knowledge of the region. In addition to the contract addenda, the right real estate agent will know how to read and interpret a survey, recommend a local insurance agent to provide adequate coverage from flooding and other natural risks, and be able to answer specific questions you may have about your property.
For example, is your beachfront home located on a public or private beach? Are you allowed to build a boat dock of any sort? Is fishing allowed? Is there an additional waterfront tax you may be required to pay each year? These are the times when the experience and knowledge possessed by The O’Hanlon Group are worth more than its weight in gold.

Immaculate history, careful preservation, and conscious conservation

One thing which makes Martha’s Vineyard so special is the dedication to preserving the island's integrity, natural beauty, and history by both full-time and part-time residents. While newer homes are available on the island, several are close to over 100 years old. If you fall in love with a home of this particular age, it’s important to have the right agent on your side, like a member of The O’Hanlon Group, who knows what to look for during the inspection period of your home purchase. When doing repairs and regular maintenance, remember that some older homes may require more/different types of upkeep, and they may even be subject to certain historic designations and restrictions. Historic designations can make the process of adding on to, extensively remodeling, and cosmetically altering these storied structures a longer process than normal. The same level of care is exactly what has preserved the history, character, and integrity of the island’s several old-timey businesses, hotels, and storied seaside clubs, allowing residents to feel as though they have stepped back into simpler times.

Transportation to and from the island

Martha’s Vineyard is an island completely separate from Cape Cod and the rest of Massachusetts. There are no bridges, and the only way to reach the island is by ferry. If you are bringing a vehicle with you, the Steamship Authority ferry casts off several times a day and offers several spaces for cars making the journey from Cape Cod. It’s a minor point to be aware of, but an important one. However, the same seclusion has helped Martha’s Vineyard maintain its unmatched value. While on the island, you can expect to see celebrities, politicians, and titans of industry relaxing and tuning out from their mainland stresses, a factor that has surely helped Martha’s Vineyard maintain consistent home values at a high price per foot over the years.
The Martha’s Vineyard real estate market is very different from others in the nation. While a seasonal economy and demand drive the island, it requires the assistance of a year-round local to ensure you are completely up-to-date on statistics, trends, and the state of the union. For over thirty years, the members of The O’Hanlan Group have guided their clientele from around the world and are ready to do the same for you. Contact the team today to learn more about the homes for sale on Martha’s Vineyard and how you can find your own slice of paradise on Earth.


As a team, we work in harmony for the benefit of our clients. We handle multiple transactions at once and are able to execute a complex marketing strategy by leveraging team resources. We can be in several physical locations at once to ensure showings are always possible for our buyers and sellers. Our clients benefit from the combined experience of our agents and administrative staff.

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