Chatham Leads Lower Cape In Millionaires

By: Tim Wood

It's no surprise that million-plus-dollar homes are common in Chatham; the town has more millionaires than any other Lower Cape community.

CHATHAM – There are more millionaires in the town at the Cape's elbow than any other community on the Lower Cape. Only two Cape towns, Falmouth and Barnstable, have more millionaires than Chatham.

That's according to state department of revenue data which lists the number of residents whose adjusted gross income was more than $1 million on tax filings. That's income, not assets, meaning those listed had earnings or other income in the seven figures. The numbers are for the tax year 2017 and include people who claim the towns as their year-round residence.

It's not really a surprise that Chatham has such a high number of millionaires. The department of revenue now lists the average assessed value at $1,004,637 (the figure for Orleans is $828,692, and Harwich $568,130). But even with the high values, thanks to Chatham's low tax rate—the fifth lowest in the state—the average tax bill is less than $5,000. Last year, 77 properties in Chatham sold for more than $1 million, and there are currently more than 40 on the market for $1 million or more.

Chatham also has the highest overall property value on the Lower Cape, outdistancing the next highest, Harwich, by more than $1 billion. According to the department of revenue, Chatham's total property value for this year is $7,406,455,520. Harwich is second among Lower Cape towns at $5,973,169,000. Orleans is third at $4,209,989,280. Eastham, Provincetown, Wellfleet and Truro follow in that order.

The number of Chatham residents earning $1 million or more has been rising steadily. In 2004 there were 21; there was a slight dip to 12 in 2010 (probably related to the economic recession), but the number rose to 32 in 2016 and came in at 36 in 2017.

In the most recent data, Barnstable had the highest number of millionaires on the Cape with 95; Falmouth was second with 64. Among Lower Cape towns, Harwich had 18, Orleans and Provincetown 14 each. Eastham, Wellfleet and Truro had fewer than five each.

Elsewhere on the Cape, Dennis had 18, Sandwich 25 and Yarmouth 8. Nantucket had 60. Not surprisingly, Boston had the highest number of millionaires in the state with 2,523. There are a total of 20,414 tax filers earning $1 million or more across the state, according to the DOR figures.