Hamptons market report shows mixed bag

By Amy Tennery | October 19, 2009 06:35PM

Judi Desiderio, founder of Town & Country Realty

A Hamptons housing report released today shows progress in some markets, while sales volume in certain areas is still slipping.

The number of home sales in the Hamptons in the third quarter was only down 2.5 percent from the same period a year ago, according to a report released today by Town & Country Real Estate, a more modest drop than other markets are experiencing, particularly in the luxury sector.

There were 251 sales transactions in third-quarter 2009 versus 257 in the same three months last year, the third-quarter East End market report shows (see the full report below).

Judi Desiderio, founder of Town & Country, which has nine offices on the East End, said that she had predicted that the market would stabilize that quarter and that the report proves her right.

“I was very hopeful,” Desiderio said of the weeks leading up to the report. “It showed me that we have stabilization in the market.”

Five of the 11 East End markets analyzed in the report (all on the South Fork but for Shelter Island), Amagansett, Bridgehampton and East Hampton Village, Shelter Island and Westhampton, saw an increase in sales, with East Hampton Village showing the steepest climb in sales volume at 169 percent.

Even so, six markets on the East End saw sales drop.

Sag Harbor Village, for example, saw an 88.69 percent drop in sales volume over the previous year. Three homes were sold in that market in third quarter 2009 versus 17 between July and September in 2008. Desiderio doesn’t know what to make of that region’s performance.

“Sag Harbor got hit the hardest,” Desiderio said. “That was a curious figure to me. [Sag Harbor] really [is] more seasonal.”

One sector of the market that saw declines was the so-called “low end” of the market — those homes being sold for $500,000 or less. The number of homes sold at that price point dropped 21.74 percent between the third quarter of this year and the last. Even so, Desiderio said that she foresees a reversal in that figure. She says the decline in sales has less to do with buyer interest and more to do with the lack of inventory below $500,000 on the East End.

“This is going to be a [price point where] we’ll see a lot more [action],” Desiderio said.

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