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Nantucket’s Changing Rental Market


Homeowner Resources

Sarah Holmes
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How the local short-term rental market is changing in 2021…

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.

Here on Nantucket, it’s not just the sales market that is exceeding expectations, the rental market is also booming. Prior to 2020, short-term rentals (31 days or less) were the norm with one- to two-week rentals being the most common. Now that many families are working and educating remotely, renters are booking properties for multiple months and, in some cases, a full year. The uncertainty of international travel has also kept families local and increased the demand for a vacation close to home. Demand has seemingly never been greater. Team Fisher reports more inquiries than is typical this time of year and many properties are already fully booked for the season.

Making matters a little more challenging for those looking to vacation this summer is the shortage of rental homes. After a record sales year in 2020, many properties that were formally rentals are now out of the inventory pool given the new owners may be looking to use the properties themselves in 2021, thereby limiting availability.

Another force that could dramatically influence the short-term rental market is a new warrant article being put forth for the June 5, 2021 Town meeting. It is for a new by-law that would not only limit the duration of a rental but also the aggregate amount of time a property could be rented in a calendar year. Proposals in the article include, but are not limited to:
• Capping the number of occupants and parking spaces per short-term rental. Short-term rental properties would be limited to 2 people per bedroom for the maximum number of bedrooms lawfully available. Parking designated for renters would also be limited to one parking space.
• Limiting short-term rentals to a total of 45 consecutive or nonconsecutive days per calendar year. Resident-owned, short-term rentals would have a slightly longer duration not to exceed 90 consecutive or nonconsecutive days per calendar year.
• Requiring a minimum rental period of 7 consecutive days. This requirement would certainly change the scope of Nantucket’s shoulder-season in May, June, September and October. These weekends often bring wedding parties and guests or travelers hoping to get away for a long weekend.
• Short-term rental operators (or owners) will need to apply for a permit with the Town’s Planning Office. (This permit is separate from the Room Occupancy Excise Registration Certificate required by the State of Massachusetts.) All short-term rentals that are not operator-occupied are also required to pay a $500/yearly permit fee.

The above bylaw will be voted on at Nantucket’s Annual Town Meeting scheduled for Saturday, June 5, 2021. For more information on the specific article, please visit this link.

We are always happy to help plan your vacation or offer rental guidance so call on us for any questions you may have regarding short-term rentals and view our current inventory here.

Written By

Sarah Holmes

Sarah grew up in New Hampshire and Vermont and summered on Nantucket with family. Upon graduating from the University of New Hampshire,