Nantucket is a small island in Massachusetts, home to a thriving local community. It’s located south of the popular Cape Cod region and slightly east of Martha’s Vineyard. Most of the year, the population is rather sparse, just under 10,700. Despite this, the island is still extremely popular and offers many things to do or see. It’s perhaps not surprising to learn that the Nantucket real estate market has garnered lots of attention from retirees, investors, individuals looking for holiday homes, and people that want a quieter life.
The summer season is where this island really comes to life. Tourists flood this place throughout the warmest months of the year thanks to the beaches and beautiful things to see or do. In fact, surveys show that the summer population can increase to over 50,000 people! It turns the island from a relaxed and quiet place to a much more lively destination. As a result, Nantucket’s local economy heavily relies on tourism. Thankfully, there’s enough interest every summer to keep everything ticking over and to create a wonderful place to live or visit.
Nantucket Real Estate Quick Facts
The Nantucket real estate market is one of the most exclusive in the country. The idyllic island location and a huge tourism market means houses are often sold for premium prices.
- The median selling price of Nantucket homes for sale is just over $2 million.
- Houses are on the market for an average of 83 days (just under three months)
- Typically, the Nantucket real estate market is a buyer’s market where the supply of homes exceeds the demand for homes.
- Most properties in Nantucket are older homes built in the 18th and 19th Centuries.
- Most premium properties are sold with beachfront views and extra amenities – such as pools, moorings, etc.
- The market is dominated by vacation properties due to the high levels of summer tourism.
- Nantucket real estate continues to increase in value year after year.
- Rental rates in Nantucket are also higher than the nationwide average.
Overall, the Nantucket real estate market is extremely competitive and expensive. Despite the high asking prices on homes, buyers are put in commanding positions. Secure Nantucket homes for sale under the asking price is often possible. There are regularly lots of bidding wars between homebuyers because this island is such a brilliant place to live – or to create investment opportunities. A lot of the homes are purchased as second homes, which are then used as vacation properties but rented out for the rest of the year.
No matter how you look, there are some excellent opportunities for real estate investors and homebuyers in Nantucket.
Living In Nantucket, MA
Life on Nantucket Island is incredibly unique. For most of the year, it’s a quiet place that’s perfect for relaxing and enjoying the simple things in life. The stunning surroundings mean you can walk around town taking in fresh air and seeing the natural beauty.
Thanks to the buzzing tourist community in the summer, Nantucket is packed full of things to do. Regular residents have plenty of ways to keep themselves entertained while enjoying the peaceful close-knit community life. The low crime rate also makes it a very enticing destination to call home, and the area has plenty of schools and educational institutions.
All things considered, Nantucket is a fantastic place to live. It may boast expensive Nantucket homes for sale, but these prices simply reflect how wonderful the island is to live permanently – or to enjoy every summer.
Things To Do In Nantucket, MA
The true beauty of Nantucket lies in the plethora of activities you can partake in on the island. It has a little bit of something for everyone – which may sound cliche, but you’ll soon see how true this is. From sporting activities to cultural tours, there’s everything anyone could hope for in this island town.
Individuals that enjoy leisure activities will love the abundance of opportunities here. Nantucket is home to a selection of gorgeous wide-open spaces and parks. They offer gorgeous walking routes for residents – along with some magnificent biking trails. One of the best parks is the Nantucket Land Bank Dog Park, popular among dog walkers. If you fancy exploring the island by one of the many biking trails, there are numerous places to rent bikes throughout Nantucket.
As well as this, the island has a vast coastline that’s home to saltwater fishing. You could even take a trip to one of the beautiful ponds in Nantucket that are very popular with avid fishermen. The water-based leisure activities don’t end there as you can partake in sailing, windsurfing, and other watersports at some plentiful beaches across the coast.
That’s not all! There’s a bustling golf community on the island, with Nantucket boasting a range of courses and driving ranges. The Sankaty Head Golf Club is hugely popular with residents on the East Coast, while Miacomet Golf Club is the biggest one on the island’s Western side.
Speaking of golf, there’s a disc golf course in the Nantucket State Forest – which is a brilliant place to enjoy leisure activities. This sublime forest is full of open green areas and woodland spaces, with a nearby camping field. It even has a Discovery Playground for kids to enjoy.
Shopping & Restaurants
Nantucket is home to wonderful restaurants to whet your appetite at any given time. It favors fresh seafood cuisine as an island, with many beautiful sea grill-style eateries dotted around it. Most restaurants are independent places owned by locals – hardly any chains here. You get the perfect blend of casual and fine dining!
There are also ample shops to satisfy your retail cravings while on the island. You can find pretty much anything you could hope for here. Fashion stores are extremely popular, but many high-end jewelry stores and shops sell home decor antiques. We recommend visiting some of the small independent boutiques, as you can pick up some true gems here that perfectly encapsulate life on Nantucket.
Cultural Sights & Scenes
You’ll be happy to know there are various cultural sights and scenes to experience on Nantucket Island. As mentioned, many of the Nantucket homes for sale are 18th or 17th-Century constructions. The history of this place is further reflected in some of the beautiful architecture you’ll find. Take a trip to downtown Nantucket to walk through the historic streets and be transported back in time.
Or, visit the truly mesmerizing Sankaty Head Lighthouse on the East Coast. It was built in 1850 and provides scenic coastline views and local golf courses. Those who want museums should pay the Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum a visit. It’s one of the best museums on the island and tells the story of devastating shipwrecks that plagued the island centuries ago, along with the heroes that formed rescue parties.
Other museums can be found around the island, as well as some admirable art galleries. The Artists Association of Nantucket is the go-to place for art buffs, but the Cecelia Joyce & Seward Johnson Gallery is worth seeing at least once.
As if that wasn’t enough, you can explore some of the best cultural and historical hotspots with guided tours around Nantucket. Lots of different providers run them, taking you on walking tours through historic districts, wilderness areas, or even around the coast in a boat.
The closeness of the local community means there are always events being put on across the island. From music events to art events and even special events for kids, there is bound to be something you’ll find interesting. See here for the full upcoming Nantucket events calendar.
Beaches In Nantucket, MA
We can’t talk about living in Nantucket without mentioning the array of beautiful beaches all around the coast. You are truly spoilt for choice here, but some of the most popular beaches during the peak summer season include:
- Sconset Beach
- Jetties Beach
- Fisherman’s Beach
- Steps Beach
- Nobadeer Beach
- Miacomet Beach
The list goes on and on – and as the locals say, there’s no such thing as a bad beach in Nantucket. It’s one of the big reasons so many tourists come here during the summer!
Education In Nantucket, MA
As a small island with a small population, Nantucket doesn’t boast many schools. There are four in total, with 1 preschool, 2 elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school. Thanks to the low population, the student-teacher ratio is very low at 11:1. It leads to a higher quality of education as kids are given more one-on-one time in a better learning environment.
In summary, living in Nantucket is a fantastic experience. Nantucket real estate is thriving, with many interested buyers always coming to the island. While Nantucket homes for sale come at premium prices, they’re worth it for the quality of life – not to mention the rental opportunities they could bring. With such a huge tourism boom in the summer, it’s the ideal place for a vacation property or a rental investment.