It is hard to believe that it has been nearly two years since the governor of Massachusetts put us into COVID lock down. We have all had to learn to adapt, be flexible and roll with it as the pandemic metrics change. Although it is easy to complain that we are still masking and being vigilant, it helps to remember where we were two years ago and to be grateful for how far we have come. Nantucket is so fortunate to have had strong, decisive leadership from our Select Board, the Nantucket Cottage Hospital, and the Board of Health. Nantucket county is one of the most highly vaccinated in the state and, although we are in the midst of another surge, people are experiencing more mild cases. We have now been through two summers with the pandemic and are looking forward to smoother sailing ahead.
There is no question that the real estate market on Nantucket has been driven by the pandemic. As is the case in many special places, people flocked to Nantucket and other communities where they felt safe. With the ability for many to work remotely, Nantucket has had a marked increase in the year-round population. This was more noticeable in 2020 than in 2021, likely because when schools started again many returned to their off-island homes.
There were 825 property transfers in 2021 (+22% from 2020) and $2.336 billion dollars in sales (+23% from 2020). It used to be unusual if total sales broke $1 billion – not anymore. The average sale as a percentage of list price is 94%, the highest it has ever been. The average sales as a percentage of assessed value is 155%, up from 123% last year.