Category Archives: Uncategorized

Written by .

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

Written by .

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

Written by .

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.

Written by .

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.

Written by .

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…

Written by .


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.

Written by .

Happy and Healthy New Year

Another record year for the Nantucket real estate market – approx. $1.16bn in total volume. The next closest year was 2005 when the total volume was approx. $1.12bn, so very similar. However, there were big differences.

2018: 473 transactions, $2.45mm average sale price, $1.60mm mean sale price.
2005: 629 transactions, $1.78mm average sale price, $1.19mm mean sale price.

Glorious supply and demand.

The financial effects of the “Airbnb taxes” are yet to be seen. On one hand it could be a major stream of revenue for government, but on the other hand, will it weaken demand thereby decreasing the amount of commerce and making the total size of the revenue pie smaller? Classic example of bigger piece of a smaller pie or smaller piece of a bigger pie.

Written by .

Going Once, Going Twice, Going Nowhere…

I recently went to a highly hyped auction at 46 Easton Street last Friday – amazing, waterfront property worth in the 8 figures in my opinion. To put the quality of the property in perspective, although it is basically irrelevant because anyone can ask anything for their property, one of the abutting properties is currently on the market for $37.5m. Absolute auctions can definitely work. There are no “ifs”, “ands” or “buts” with absolute auctions – the highest bidder wins. For this reason, they create a buzz and get people excited. On the other hand, reserve auctions are typically dull and anti-climatic. You don’t know if there is going to be a winning bidder and no matter how much marketing and advertising is done, they don’t create the buzz an absolute auction does. This was a reserve auction. Guess what happened? Only two bidders registered (from what I could tell) and only one of those bidders actually bid, but not enough to meet the reserve. Basically worst outcome for the Seller – they used the auction process to get the property sold, but put the reserve too high and didn’t get it sold. Now the property is not sold and the market is confused if they are a serious seller or not and the property has a failed auction on its history.

$1.1bn closed YTD…

Written by .


While visiting the picturesque, charming town of Grasmere in the Lake District of England, I was amazed at the similarities to Nantucket:

-land council to protect open spaces giving way to stunning vistas and hiking trails throughout
-historic, well preserved village
-vibrant town with great restaurants and shops
-strict zoning and architecture boards (extremely hard to get a “new build” permit issued)
-outdoors oriented lifestyle with bodies of water being focal points
-strong sense of community and friendly people
-accessible, but takes an extra leg of travel than surrounding towns
-strong real estate market

Naturally, I asked around about the real estate market and basically got the same answer over and over, if the overall market dips, Grasmere dips last and the least and if the overall market rises, Grasmere rises first and the most.

Just like Nantucket, coupling a limited supply with a rising demand makes for a fundamentally strong market.

Written by .

Please Overprice

Much of the time, when a Seller overprices their property it can work to a Buyer’s advantage. Simply what happens is, the overpriced property hits the market. Buyers that were looking for that type of property see it as soon as possible. They look at it and either dismiss it because they think it is overpriced or they make an offer of what they think it is worth, which the Seller inevitably rejects because it is too “low”. Then, the buyers that initially dismissed it or made offers either buy another property or become disinterested. So, all of sudden, the Seller has dramatically reduced the Buyer pool, aka reduced the demand, which reduces the value and the Seller then needs to lower the price below what they could have originally fetched to spark fresh demand. So, as a Buyer, sometimes you think, “Seller, please overprice.”

$882m closed YTD and at least $191m in the pipe…