Ten benefits that STRs bring to Nantucket.

Ever wonder why the debate around short-term rentals has been so fierce on Nantucket? Because short-term rentals represent a lot of money changing hands. For some, the benefits of short-term rentals greatly outweigh the problems they cause. In fact, short-term rentals represent the economic engine that keeps many island businesses and individuals afloat. If they were banned outright today, the island would experience a cascading economic collapse in several areas. One must agree that short-term rentals are not all bad, and for some, there is a substantial upside. 

Here is a list of the benefits that short-term rentals bring to the island. 

  1. Allows many year-rounders to make ends meet. Or to get ahead. There’s no denying the fact that for many year-rounders, the ability to rent their homes to vacationers means the difference between living on Nantucket and looking for a new home elsewhere. And some have turned short-term rentals into a nice side income. 
  2. Provides a bridge between high real estate costs and ownership. With the cost of real estate on Nantucket continually climbing, many people who want their own piece of Nantucket have no choice but to rent their property out for part of the summer to build enough wealth to pay the crazy mortgages we are seeing these days.  
  3. Other economic benefits. It’s clear that Short-term rentals make it possible for more jobs on island. And that puts more cash in the island economy and spurs new cottage industries such as concierge services, real estate videography, and grocery delivery for busy vacationers. In a recent short-term rental workgroup meeting, a Granicus consultant estimates that STRs on-island generate $4.2 million in revenues per night. 
  4. Revenues for the town. Vacation homes pay well over 65% of the property taxes on Nantucket.
  5. Adds to the island’s mystique and brand. Many short-term rental homes are Instagram-worthy experiences that people covet and drool over. They represent luxury that people can afford for a short time. 
  6. Easier for visitors. The convenience of online applications and websites like Airbnb and VRBO means that anyone can plan a vacation from their phone or laptop. 
  7. Makes extending the shoulder seasons possible. There was a time when restaurants, hotels, and inns would shut down shortly after Labor Day on Nantucket, but today, with STRs available year-round, people can take advantage of the shoulder seasons more readily which adds more money to the local economy. 
  8. Drives up property equity for long-time homeowners. Property values have doubled three times in the past 25 years, due in part to the popularity of Short-Term rental properties by investors. That means that someone who bought a home for $300,000 in 1997 would have around $2.1-$2.5 million in equity today and would be close to paying their 30-year mortgage off. That kind of economic power provides homeowners with a lot of choices. 
  9. Allows year-round residents to sell and realize a substantial payout. Island homeowners who are close to retirement and who have not saved a substantial amount for their retirement years often sell their property to fund their retirement lifestyle. 
  10. A hot real estate market attracts investment. It’s no secret that when Nantucket is in the news as a place where people are making a lot of money, people with money to invest take notice.