Nantucket Real Estate: What the Heck is Going On?

The real estate market stats are in through the end of April and something is going on.  Something that is not positive for sellers of property on Nantucket.  The number of sales is down 27% for the first 4 months of the year compared to the same period in 2018.  The dollars that those sales represent are down 37%.  In simple terms this means that fewer properties are selling and they are selling for less money.

The average price of a property on Nantucket is now $1,855,000, down from $2,214,000 at the end of 2018, a decrease of 16%.  The average price of a residential property on island has dropped 23% from $2,615,000 to $2,009,000 and the median home price is now $1,407,000, down 20% from one year ago.

Similar patterns are affecting the sale of vacant land:  The average price of a lot on Nantucket is now $955,000, down a big 46% from last year’s average price of $1,756,000.  The median lot price is now $888,000, down only 3% from last year’s $920,000.

The average time on the market is up from 9 months to 10 months.  The average sale, as a percentage of list price at the time of sale is now 89%, compared to 90% in 2018.  The average sale, as a percentage of assessed value is actually up to 129% of assessed value, compared to 123% at the end of 2018.  This is due to 2019 being a revaluation year at the Town of Nantucket’s Assessor Department.

So what does all of this mean?  Are there going to be all of a sudden bargains galore on Nantucket real estate?  An end to Nantucket’s affordable housing crisis?  No more 40b developments?  We think not.

What this means is that there is a lot of uncertainty in the marketplace.  It means that sellers have pushed their pricing to the maximum possible levels and buyers are digging in their heels, creating a market slowdown.   It means that, just as buyers do not HAVE TO BUY ON NANTUCKET, neither do many SELLERS HAVE TO SELL.

It may mean that, with the robust performance of the financial indices, people are comfortable leaving their money invested in the stock market.  As always, we are reluctant to judge an entire year on only a few months but something unusual is happening.  We do, however, remain cautiously optimistic as we head into our high season.