The Nantucket real estate market boomed once again in 2022, with $1.6 billion in sales recorded for the year, with the average home price eclipsing $4 million, a new record.
While the number of transactions and the total dollar volume decreased from last year - when an all-time record $2.3 billion in sales were closed - it was still a massive year for Nantucket real estate.
“Fewer sales, but still sky-high prices,” Nantucket town assessor Rob Ranney said, noting that the median home sale hit $3 million for the first time ever.
In 2022, there were 485 sales, according to Ranney’s data, down from 825 in 2021. But as Great Point Properties broker/principal Greg McKechnie emphasized, the real estate frenzy of 2020 and 2021 induced by the pandemic are probably best looked at as outliers.
“For house sales, the average sale was over $4 million and we need to keep things in perspective,” McKechnie said. “2020 and 2021 were abnormal years from forces outside and it changed the market. If you take those two years out, 2022 was our best year ever. We sold $1.635 billion.
“There were 482 transactions,” McKechnie added. “Our prices have gone up. There is a lot of wealth on Nantucket and people are tired of and not willing to wait around anymore so they are willing to step up to new levels.”
The large dollar volume in sales occurred despite the inventory of homes on the market at or near record-lows for most of the year.
That trend appears to be continuing into the new year and while McKechnie wouldn't go as far as to say he expects another billion-dollar-year for Nantucket real estate in 2023, he said the high-end of the market continuing to be active despite some economic uncertainty could allow the island to reach that mark again and produce another strong year.
“I think buyers still want to be here and will pay up, which will allow the sellers to get premium pricing, but within reason and that is important,” he said. “There is a threshold. There is a tipping point where people will say we have a faltering economy, we have rising interest rates, we have geopolitical turmoil, and you just push one hair too far. So, I think as long as people maintain some rationality and don’t go for totally aspirational pricing, we are going to see a good year, but it is going to be low transaction volume with decent dollar volume because pricing has gone up.
“I think the transactions that will happen will be significant. Now that we have broken that $30 million mark there are going to be people out there who have a long pause and ponder the possibility of saying ‘you know what, maybe we should part with our home.’ The higher end may bolster this market in 2023.”