Home News Here on Billionaires’ Isle: Nantucket attracts the uber-wealthy

Here on Billionaires’ Isle: Nantucket attracts the uber-wealthy

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Manhattan may have Billionaire’s Row (the skyscraper (and super-expensive) residential skyscrapers that dot Central Park’s southern edge), but recently Massachusetts has eased ownership of Billionaire’s Isle. I can claim

Where is this Tony-sounding place?Tip: This island is famous that particular shade of red.

It may have its roots in whaling, but Nantucket’s recent reputation is known as a summer retreat for the wealthy. And a recent spate of home sales and listings has pushed the island’s wealth connotations to new heights.

I’m sorry, Hamptons. There’s a 1-percent new beach paradise stepping into your spotlight. But locals insist that their island, located about 30 miles off the coast of Massachusetts, is nothing like the Hamptons.

After all, this is still a reserved Massachusetts enclave.

“Despite the explosion of wealth on the island, it remains a very civic and grounded place. Bruce Purseley, a longtime summer resident, publisher of Nantucket Magazine, and founder of Mount Vernon Co., a Boston-based real estate developer. ”

Without naming names, Percelay goes back and forth with the idea that people with flashy cars and overflowing bank accounts will be a stepping stone to making a name for themselves on the island. said that he had seen

Nantucket is much more about making real connections with the community, said Percelay. That often means raising money for new hospitals or coming together to help those affected by disasters. veranda house hotel fire.

“There’s a hidden part of life on Nantucket where people who come here realize that their checkbook size has nothing to do with their position on the island,” said Purseley. “In the Hamptons, when you drive an expensive car, people are moved. In Nantucket, when you drive an expensive car, people are disgusted. It’s a whole different spirit.”

Keep in mind: it still costs a lot to become a landlord on this island, where there have been reported pretense and lack of courtesy.

4 of the 16 Most Expensive Homes Sold in Massachusetts in Early July was on the island.

Red Sox and Boston Globe owner John Henry Closed early this spring Bought a $25 million Nantucket property and later an adjacent property. The combined sale price of the two properties was $37 million. current record holder For the most expensive home sale on the island.

Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman was reportedly the purchaser last fall of a $32.5 million beachfront mansion overlooking Nantucket Harbor. According to the Nantucket CurrentIt was, until Henry’s, the most expensive home sale on the island. $56 millionIf it goes at the asking price, this house will surpass Henry as the most expensive house ever sold on the island.

“There have probably been 17 to 18 deals above $15 million in the last 12 months. Overall, the market here is still pretty healthy, as opposed to other regions where supply is getting more and more. think” Michael Passaro, Douglas Elliman’s broker. “Obviously, this is an island and we are not going to build more buildings on it.


“Despite the explosion of wealth on the island, it remains a very civic and down-to-earth place.”

Bruce Purseley Longtime summer resident and local publisher


Getting land on the island becomes even more difficult. Nantucket Land Bank, there is a 2% transfer fee for most real estate transactions on the island. The funds are used to acquire land for open space, agriculture, or recreation. To this day, nearly half of the island has been preserved as open space.

But it’s not the charm of open spaces and small seafront towns that attracts some of the world’s richest families to the island.

Given its location, privacy is a natural feature for anyone living on an island.Sure, there’s always some privacy behind a gated, off-road lot, but the fact that it takes work — and Securing a place On a crowded ferry — getting to the islands means even a certain degree of isolation while walking downtown.

“You can’t get in the car, you’ll be driving by the big stores. You’re so remote. People won’t bother you,” he said. Craig Brody, a Boston-based real estate agent with Douglas Elliman. “Certainly, it’s a big draw for the island.”

Property taxes in Nantucket are also significantly lower than in the Hamptons. Nantucket property tax is $3.74 for every $1,000 of appraisal value. So a $1 million house in Nantucket would have a property tax of $3,740. By comparison, according to the 2021 and 2022 East Hampton Town tables, property taxes for the same priced home in a given area of ​​the Hamptons would be a staggering $273.25 for every $1,000 assessed.

A view of Nantucket Harbor. — Julia Cums of The Boston Globe

Additionally, Nantucket Airport has a longer runway and fewer noise regulations than East Hampton Airport.

Yes, dear readers. Not only is Nantucket private and easily accessible by his jet, but its waterfront mansions are a sort of value his play for the ultra-high net worth.


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“I think the Hamptons did very well. Nantucket is obviously a little different. It’s a little more relaxed. It’s a smaller area. It’s easier to get around,” Passaro said. “I think wealth definitely attracts wealth when some rich people and billionaire clubs come.”

Some may be scratching their heads at the notion that Nantucket’s soaring home prices are recent history. A typical home in Nantucket costs just over $2 million, according to Zillow. This is an increase of about 12% from last year. Believe it or not, that wasn’t always the case.

Before millionaires came to buy, Nantucket was the setting for Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick.” This is a tribute to the island’s roots, the whaling station. The author described the island as one of his “all beaches with no background” rather than an island full of billionaires and their fortunes.

Locals say people with a blue-blooded background became attracted to the island in the 1980s, when wealth blew up from Wall Street. It has accelerated further in the last two years.

“It’s always been very expensive and I think COVID has driven the price up. Wealthy people have made more money during the last few years before COVID, especially in technology and other areas . Gary Wynnis a Nantucket-based real estate broker affiliated with Maury People Sotheby’s International Realty. “This is just a continuation of what we’ve been doing, but just a step up to another level.”

But just because the island continues to receive new blood doesn’t mean everyone lives together in harmony.

Permanent Resident Eviction And a severe shortage of workers (who were forced off the island by soaring housing prices and rents) means it’s becoming increasingly difficult to staff and run businesses here. Finding ways to accommodate people of all economic backgrounds is key to maintaining the island’s appeal and not turning this piece of paradise into another version of the Hamptons.

“The biggest negative impact of all this is the cost of living for the working and middle class here, because it’s so high,” Purseley said. “Without the working and middle classes, this island would not work.”

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