Key Highlights

  • Above-asking offers now the norm
  • Major imbalance between unprecedented demand and limited supply

Agents’ Comments about Requirements for New England Buyers


According to Bill Farmer, a broker with Beachfront Realty in Provincetown, “If you’re a buyer that wants to get into the market, you need to have nerves of steel and unlimited financing.”

Patience is also a fundamental requirement.  Farmer has clients who have and will wait for three or four years for a single-family home to come on the market.

Jane Austen, an agent with Keller Williams in Vermont’s Mad River Valley, said, “There’s hardly anything on the market at all right now.  I’ve got buyers and nothing to sell them.  When we do get something to sell, a lot of the times it doesn’t even hit the market.”

Unprecedented Demand and Sparse Supply

Most agents/brokers in Martha’s Vineyard, Vermont’s Mad River Valley and the Outer Cape are professionally connected with six to ten people waiting for a single-family home listing.

Joshua D. Wild, managing partner with Elevated Realty, said, “Second homes, which are usually always available on the Cape and Islands, aren’t being sold because those owners are the exact people that are staying there for the fall to work remotely. Without that usual inventory hitting the market, it’s really down to your primary homeowner who needs to sell, and they have nowhere else to go because of how expensive and limited the inventory is.”

Take a look at year-over-year sales, according to Douglas Elliman Real Estate: 

  • Martha’s Vineyard – +64% y/y
  • Barnstable County (all of Cape Cod) – +83% y/y

No Time to Think about Splurging

Either clients do or they don’t want a second home in New England.  If they do, they’ve already decided they’ll need to splurge on the price.

The typical number of days a Martha’s Vineyard property remained on the market during Q1 2021 was 44…a 71% drop from Q1 2020.

Cameron Parry, an agent with Douglas Elliman based in Martha’s Vineyard, said, “It’s so competitive that you shouldn’t expect a counteroffer in this market.  If you know your outer price limit and you really want that property, I recommend you get ready to go to your outer limit right away.”

Lakes Region in New Hampshire Has More Supply

Though it may look like it, inventory isn’t quite as tight in the Lakes Region and north in New Hampshire as in Massachusetts’ Provincetown and Barnstable and Berkshire Counties.

Andrew Smith the Franconia-based broker and owner of Peabody & Smith Realty, said, “People are putting houses on the market…they’re just selling faster than they ever used to. It’s the velocity and the volume that make it look like there’s nothing to buy.”


Thanks to Douglas Elliman Real Estate, Beachfront Realty, Keller Williams, Peabody & Smith Realty and


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