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Good Neighbor

If all transactions were included, the 2019 total volume was $1.005bn. If non-arm’s length transactions are excluded, like affordable housing and some conservation purchases, the total volume was just under $1bn. Being the upbeat real estate broker I am, I’m going with Nantucket had another $1bn+ year.

If you go to sell on Nantucket, it often pays to have neighbors, especially high-end neighbors, because there is a decent chance your neighbor will be the highest bidder for your property. A few examples just from 2019 where the neighbor bought the listed neighbor’s property:

40 Shawkemo Road, $23.9mm
36 Low Beach Road, $5.5mm
60 Walsh Street, $4.5mm
9 Cliff Road, $3.9mm
4 Shawkemo Road, $2.0mm
36 Crooked Lane, $1.98mm
12 Fulling Mill Road, $1.7mm

So, if you’re going to sell your Nantucket property, make sure you’re a good neighbor.

The Land Bank and Nantucket Conservation Foundation made some great buys in 2019. Notably:

LB – 174 Orange Street and 2 Milestone Road, 9 acres abutting the Monomoy Creeks.
LB – 39 Almanack Pond Road, 11 acres abutting hundreds of acres of conservation land.
LB – 101-103 Hummock Pond Road, 15 acres to continue to be used as farmland.
LB – 246 Milestone Road, 3 acres across Milestone Road from hundreds of acres of conservation land.
NCF – 204 Cliff Road, 14 acres abutting Maxey Pond.

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10 Signatures

Nantucket has an annual Town Meeting to legislate all matters concerning the Town. Generally, all of the actions taken during Town Meeting determine how the Select Board and Town departments will be able to serve the public throughout the year. In my opinion, this is a great system; it really puts the control of the Town’s destiny in the voters’ hands. However, it doesn’t come without flaws. For example, a citizen can file a Citizen’s Warrant Article with just 10 signatures from registered voters. Once published in the Warrant, a Citizen’s Article has potential to wreak havoc on certain industries.

For example, there is a Citizen’s Article on the 2020 Warrant that will drastically reduce the ground cover on all zoning districts that have setbacks, which is 18 out of 20 zoning districts. Once the Warrant is published in January, any building application that does not comply with this Citizen’s Article will be frozen until the outcome of whether this Article passes or not is determined at Town Meeting in April. So, a large part of Nantucket’s second biggest industry, construction, will be on hold from sometime in January until early April. And, that only took 10 signatures…

Year over year comparison of YTD total volume:

’09 – $402mm *Lowest total yearly volume.
’10 – $629mm
’11 – $504mm
’12 – $726mm
’13 – $725mm
’14 – $949mm *$1bn+ year.
’15 – $815mm
’16 – $945mm
’17 – $985mm *$1bn+ year.
’18 – $1.09bn *Highest total yearly volume. $1bn+ year.
’19 – $931mm

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Long Miacomet

I’ve always thought Miacomet was an undervalued area, but now with the brand new Miacomet Golf Clubhouse about to open, I think it is really undervalued. I imagine we’ll see a similar effect to the area as Cliff saw after The Westmoor Club was built, albeit not as profound. My friend, who is a scratch golfer, said Miacomet played better than Sankaty Head Golf Club and Nantucket Golf Club this past summer, and Sankaty and Nantucket are world class courses. Time will tell, but I’m long Miacomet.

Year over year comparison of YTD total volume:

’09 – $339mm *Lowest total yearly volume.
’10 – $569mm
’11 – $430mm
’12 – $639mm
’13 – $640mm
’14 – $866mm *$1bn+ year.
’15 – $728mm
’16 – $848mm
’17 – $919mm *$1bn+ year.
’18 – $945mm *Highest total yearly volume. $1bn+ year.
’19 – $810mm

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Real Estate Broker

“A real estate broker, real estate agent or realtor is a person who represents sellers or buyers of real estate or real property.” – Wikipedia

“A Nantucket real estate broker represents sellers or buyers of real estate or real property, coordinates vendors, locates missing pet(s), moves cars and cleans, among many other services.” – Dalton T. Frazier

Being 30 miles out to sea, our clients have to rely on us, their real estate broker. We love it and love taking care of our clients, our friends. There’s a lot more than meets the eye with a Nantucket real estate broker. And, beyond what meets the eye is why we succeed.

Year over year comparison of YTD volume:

’09 – $281mm *Lowest total yearly volume.
’10 – $468mm
’11 – $373mm
’12 – $526mm
’13 – $525mm
’14 – $735mm *$1bn+ year.
’15 – $626mm
’16 – $714mm
’17 – $815mm *$1bn+ year.
’18 – $813mm *Highest total yearly volume. $1bn+ year.
’19 – $698mm

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Window Boxes

Nantucket continues to up its game in every capacity. New playgrounds, new infrastructure, new hospital, new bike paths, amazing restaurants that seem to get better with every season, no major crime, tons of non-profits, The Revivalists and the list goes on. Blend that with the stunning natural beauty and all of the fun things to do on Island – fish, surf, bike, hike, etc. – and you have an incredible experience.

The bar is constantly getting set higher. I mean, have you seen some of the window boxes?!

Market’s moving.

Year over year comparison of YTD volume:

’09 – $194mm *Lowest total yearly volume.
’10 – $345mm
’11 – $314mm
’12 – $453mm
’13 – $406mm
’14 – $531mm *$1bn+ year.
’15 – $508mm
’16 – $595mm
’17 – $626mm *$1bn+ year.
’18 – $617mm *Highest total yearly volume. $1bn+ year.
’19 – $582mm

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All in the Detail

Many of the newly built/recently renovated homes on Nantucket are truly works of art showcasing the latest styles and materials. Definitely a perk of my job is being able to see these properties, especially the ones that end-users built, as with these, budgets were commonly not a top priority. To create one of these works of art requires extreme attention to detail. If the developer/owner does not put the time in to pay attention to the detail, it’s blatantly clear and the property becomes disproportionately less valuable compared to any savings on time by not paying attention to the details. It’s all in the detail…

Market continues to fire.

Year over year comparison of YTD volume:

’09 – $161mm
’10 – $272mm
’11 – $260mm
’12 – $338mm
’13 – $324mm
’14 – $453mm
’15 – $425mm
’16 – $485mm
’17 – $499mm
’18 – $535mm
’19 – $494mm

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Don’t Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch

The deal’s not closed until the check clears. I tell my clients, even if you don’t like the other side, even if you despise the other side, don’t get too emotional and become petty because we may need the other side’s cooperation in a pinch. For example, I say, if your closing documents don’t arrive on time and your deposit technically becomes at risk, we don’t want the Seller to not grant a one day extension because we did something petty and then they make claim to your deposit. As the saying goes, keep your enemies close (especially with real estate deals).

Market’s coming alive.

Year over year comparison of YTD volume:

’09 – $139mm
’10 – $250mm
’11 – $223mm
’12 – $287mm
’13 – $256mm
’14 – $393mm
’15 – $330mm
’16 – $426mm
’17 – $408mm
’18 – $487mm
’19 – $418mm

These two middle July weeks are the hidden gems of the summer – weather’s typically great, everything’s open, Island life is in full swing, but they have the relaxing vibe of September.

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Reason Number …

Recently, our eldest learned to ride his bike and now loves biking. Naturally, the whole family started biking more. It’s been an incredible experience exploring the island on a bike, again, just like I did as a kid. Biking is an amazing way to see Nantucket up close and makes you appreciate how special of a place she is even more. Bike paths go to just about everywhere on Island, which in itself is special; I can’t think of another community that has this. And, the kicker is, it’s free! Reason number … to love Nantucket.

Following is a year over year comparison of YTD total volume:

’09 – $109mm (lowest total yearly volume in recent history)
’10 – $204mm
’11 – $171mm
’12 – $254mm
’13 – $165mm
’14 – $318mm
’15 – $280mm
’16 – $372mm
’17 – $323mm
’18 – $392mm (highest total yearly volume ever)
’19 – $314mm

After a slow start, mainly due to weather, in my opinion, the market is shaping up to have another strong year. With equity markets continually flirting with record highs and interest rates still rock bottom – makes sense.

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New NCH is a Win All the Way Around

The brand new Nantucket Cottage Hospital opened last month. The $100m state of the art facility was built with 100% private funding – impressive.

It’s going to be a boon to Nantucket real estate values. For the most part, with noticeable exceptions from Silicon Valley and Wall Street, the wealthy are on the older side of the age spectrum and, for the most part, the older side of the spectrum are more in need of medical services and goods than the younger side. So, many wealthy people that love Nantucket and could afford to buy here wouldn’t because we didn’t have a modern hospital and we’re 30 miles out to sea. Now, we do have a modern hospital, so I think we’re going to see a spike in demand from those that without a modern hospital nearby would have otherwise not considered buying here. Time will tell…

Although, the first quarter got off to a slow start, the market seems to be picking up steam. A main reason the first quarter was down was because buyers simply could not get here because of plane and boat cancellations. Most buyers have busy lives, so when they can’t get on Island the one weekend they planned to come on Island and look at property, they typically can’t fit the trip back into their schedules until spring/summer.

As these YTD numbers show, though, buyers are finding their way to the Rock:

’19 – $237mm
’18 – $344mm ($1bn+ year)
’17 – $247mm ($1bn+ year)

As the saying goes, the harder the battle, the sweeter the victory…

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Nantucket has some of the strictest zoning and architectural restrictions in the US and probably the world. So, when an aspect of a property is grandfathered, it usually makes that property more valuable than the same property without that specific aspect grandfathered. For instance, properties are allowed a certain ground coverage percentage per their zoning. If a property pre-dates zoning and is over the current ground coverage percentage, it will have the ground cover overage grandathered and therefore be more valuable than the same property that is required to conform to the current ground coverage ratio.

There’s an Article on the Warrant of Annual Town Meeting that, if passed in the current state, would heavily restrict the installation of pools in most zoning districts and outright ban them in one district. I doubt it will pass because it is so far reaching, but if it does, anyone currently with a pool will be grandfathered and see a windfall of value. If it doesn’t pass, it will probably make owners who were on the cusp of installing a pool, install one because of fear that some form of this article will get passed in the future. So, in that regards, at the least in the short term, it will have the opposite effect of having less pools.