Real Estate Remains Slow; Scattered Foreclosures

The statistical evidence shows the real estate market on Martha’s Vineyard remains in a hole, but the anecdotal evidence suggests it might at last be beginning to climb out.

Figures for the period up to the start of August this year show sales numbers and prices both down sharply compared with the same period in 2007 — which was itself a bad year for real estate.

The median price paid for family homes to August 4 was down in all the Island towns, according to figures from Banker and Tradesman online, which compiles its figures from sale documents.

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Renowned British Architect, Arts Publisher Acquire Blue Heron Farm for $21.9 Million

Blue Heron Farm, the Chilmark estate that President Obama and his family have rented for three past summer vacations, was sold last week for $21.9 million. The gentleman’s farm will be occupied by a high-profile European couple, Lord Norman and Lady Elena Foster of Thames Bank in Great Britain.

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Two-Speed Economy: High End Is Spending, Bottom End Suffering

The good news for the Vineyard economy is that in the first three months of this year banks loaned some $240 million for new mortgages, well above the numbers for the previous two recession years.

Even better, said Chris Wells, president and chief executive officer of the Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank, most of that was for new purchases rather than refinancing of existing loans, the biggest part of the mortgage business during the downturn.

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