Is Negative Publicity Impacting Sales in Brant Point, Nantucket?
This blog is from our seven part Year in Review series “Topics of Note Influencing the Nantucket Real Estate Market in 2021.” Read the comprehensive real estate analysis here.
On an island 30 miles out to sea, it’s no surprise that the local geography is vertically challenged, and that flooding is an issue in many prime locations. This topic has become more and more present in the media and we’ve wondered how much the publicity may or may not be impacting sales. So, we turned to the data and you might be surprised by what we found…
In 2019, our real estate community was very frustrated by the negative publicity through the local paper. The I&M painted Brant Point in an extremely negative light and in theory made our buyer community nervous. I can say from first-hand experience, that I was witness to it in one transaction and it materially affected the value. I represented the sellers on a property which ultimately sold for 9% below the original agreed up price based on the negative publicity. The buyers pulled out of the contract based on concern of water levels and wetlands. The house had active flood insurance and no history of flooding. These items should have given the buyers confidence that the house was relatively safe, but they backed out of the deal after the articles were published. Eventually they entered back into the deal with a reduced price, to their credit, based on the cost to raise and improve the infrastructure.
While I was part of this anecdote, I needed to look at numbers to see if the general thoughts around the location could be substantiated. In fact, they could not. Over the past 5 years, there have been an average of 12.4 sales a year and in 2019 there were 12 sales. While the median prices fluctuate substantially in Brant Point because of a small sample size and a few large transactions, there has not been a declining trend. In 2020, we’ll see 17 transactions, which relative to our overall market makes perfect sense. In conclusion, despite all of the negative publicity directed towards Brant Point, we have not seen any negative sales trends.