Just in case you were wondering whether or not the real estate market is still mired in a bubble, just remember there are 350 square foot cottages in Nantucket that are selling for millions of dollars.
Several cottages in the area were assessed at $10,000 per square foot, according to the Wall Street Journal. It makes Nantucket some of the "most expensive real estate in the world," according to the report.
Henry Sanford, who has owned property in Nantucket for decades, said: “You can’t make sense of it mathematically. I don’t even know anywhere else in the world where you can find that.”
About 25 cottages on Old North Wharf have become "trophy properties", according to the report, highly sought after by sailing enthusiasts and wealthy homeowners. Each cottage comes with its own boat slip and their owners include people like Google CEO Eric Schmidt and his wife, Wendy Schmidt, billionaire businessman Charles Johnson, and Charles Schwab.
Joe Farrell Jr. commented: “There’s half a dozen billionaires on this wharf. I’d have been self-conscious walking down here when I barely had two nickels to rub together.”
Susan Burke didn't know her husband bought an 889 square foot cottage for $5.8 million, she read about it in the local press first. “I just said, ‘Can you imagine anyone stupid enough to pay that price for this tiny little place?’” she said.
Her husband told her two weeks later: “It’s yours.”
The Old North Wharf properties are generally purchased for their private waterfront access on an island with "only a limited number of docks", the report says. Few people rarely sleep in the them. They are part of a 99 year old cooperative that is responsible for common areas, like landscaping, the gravel road, parking lot and weekend security.
Co-op president Christopher Quick told WSJ: “It’s a pretty private little place. A lot of people use them as a little getaway from the madness. They’re all sort of playhouses.”
The co-op also manages three deep water docks, which also go for millions each. One sold for $4.75 million in 2016 while others sold for $2.1 million in 2002 and 2003.
“I really was just looking for access to the water and the lifestyle on the wharf,” said Harvey Jones, who paid $1.6 million for a 375 square foot cottage. He then collaborated with a neighbor to build a shared dock to accommodate his 36 foot yacht.
The cottages on the Wharf rarely turn over and the board of the Old North Wharf Cooperative has to vet new buyers.
“People want to get in here in the worst way,” Quick concluded.
You can read the full WSJ article on the Wharf here.