Nantucket: State of the Real Estate Market

Main Street in the Spring (GH)-(ZF-8324-43090-1-001)Real estate sales on Nantucket have exceeded $1 billion in each of the last four years; the highest year, prior to 2020, was 2018 with $1.2 billion.  In 2020 total sales were $1.9 billion.  The market typically hits $1 billion at the end of the year in December; this year it occurred in July.  What does this mean?  The Nantucket real estate market is on track to exceed $2 billion in property sales in 2021.

Time will tell whether this can be entirely attributed to the “pandemic bump” as buyers across the country snapped up properties located in communities that are perceived as safe and with lower population density. Nantucket has the added attraction of having over 60% of the island preserved as open space, much of it accessible to the public.  Another driving factor is the gains made in the financial markets in the past year which has created enormous wealth.  On top of this, and perhaps most important, is the lack of supply in a climate of extreme demand.  A “normal” market on Nantucket would have between 350-400 properties for sale; today there are fewer than 150 listings.

As of this writing there are only 18 pieces of vacant land for sale on Nantucket, ranging in price from $675,000 to over $14 million.  There are 132 residential listings ranging in price from $795,000 to $28 million.  There are only two single-family (not condo) properties currently for sale under $1 million on the entire island.

It is clear that the real estate market on Nantucket is bifurcated into at least two markets, if not three or four.  There are the people who live here year-round (who rent or own) and those that do not (who rent or own).  These are, to a large extent, parallel markets.

As of the end of August the average selling price of a property on Nantucket is $2,590,000 (-7% from one year ago).  We expect that this will rise by the end of the year based upon the pending sales.  The average selling price of a residential property is $3,138,000 and vacant land is selling, on average, $1,274,000.

Properties are selling on average for 93% of list price and for 144% of assessed value at the time of the sale.  Stay tuned to see how the balance of 2021 shapes up.

Atlantic East Nantucket Real Estate