Real estate group lists 10 short-term Nantucket rental properties

Real estate group lists 10 short-term Nantucket rental properties


As the debate over whether or not to allow short-term rentals on the island continues, one real estate agent says it is over.

Nantucket from above, looking towards Madaket Harbor. David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe, file

The Copley Group, a Boston-based real estate company and one of Nantucket’s largest short-term rental providers, has put the majority of its island portfolio on the market, potentially deterring hundreds of families from renting these properties in the future.

The move comes less than two weeks after Islanders voted to reject a zoning bylaw change that would have legally allowed short-term rentals in residential developments and then approved a ban on corporate ownership of short-term rentals. It’s unclear how the ban, if approved by the attorney general, would impact Copley Group’s rental properties.

As first reported by Nantucket Current, Maury People Sotheby’s International Realty listed 10 of Copley Group’s 12 properties as vacation properties on Sunday.

The properties are priced between $3.99 million and $5.99 million, which together means the Copley Group is asking more than $38.9 million for the ten homes.

  • Nantucket residents are rejecting a controversial short-term rental proposal

According to city assessor records, between 2012 and 2019, the Copley Group acquired 10 homes through a series of transactions totaling about $17 million.

Because Nantucket has few hotels and no resorts, homeowners have been renting their properties to vacationers for a century.

In recent years, the debate over short-term rentals on Nantucket has heated up. Since 2021, residents have rejected four proposals that would restrict who in the island community can rent out their home and for how long.

The Copley Group was at the center of this debate. Founder Norman Levenson, a Nantucket resident for decades, first came under the radar of ACK Now, the political action group led by millionaire Peter McCausland, when the group provided financial support to neighbors who sued his company over one of his short-term rentals in 2020.

According to real estate records, Copley Group sold the property for $3.2 million and dismissed the lawsuit.

The Current reported that Levenson responded by funding efforts to thwart ACK Now’s proposed search warrants that sought to restrict short-term rentals on the island by forming the Alliance to Protect Nantucket’s Economy in 2023.

ACK Now, in turn, argued that corporate-owned short-term rental companies like The Copley Group are driving up home and rental prices and displacing year-round neighborhoods.

“Without the rental housing on the island, the economy wouldn’t be the same,” Levenson told N Magazine in 2021. “The restaurants won’t do the same, the shop owners, it trickles down to the T-shirt shops.” Charter boats, the tour buses. The people who live on the island all year round work in all of these places.”

Levenson and real estate agent Gary Winn did not respond to a request for comment about the property sales.

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