“Stable” Hamptons market sees sales climb by almost a third

Oct.October 24, 2013 12:01 AM

A steady hand guided the cool-headed Hamptons residential real estate market through the third quarter, reports released today by the area’s largest residential brokerages show.

There were 534 home sales closed in the Hamptons in the third quarter, a 31.9 percent year-over-year increase from 405 sales and a 20.9 percent drop from 675 sales in the second quarter, Douglas Elliman’s quarterly report shows.

Jonathan Miller, president of appraisal firm Miller Samuel, who compiled Elliman’s report, called the period a “stable but active market” with few records. The number of sales is at its highest level for a third quarter in eight years, he said. He attributed the sales jump to buyers capitalizing on the current mortgage interest rates, fearful of another rate increase after a spike in May.

Listing inventory has been climbing for the past year. It jumped in the third quarter, up 27.2 percent to 1,656 available homes from 1,798 homes in the prior year quarter, Elliman’s report shows. The days on market fell 25.1 percent to 149 days from 199.

The median sale price of a Hamptons home in the third quarter was $768,000, a barely noticeable 0.4 percent increase from $765,000 last year, the Elliman report says. In terms of median sales price, the Hamptons’ luxury market saw more growth than the overall market, Miller said.

“There was a shift in the mix to lower priced sales as [the] sub-million dollar market gained share, holding back price growth,” Miller said.

The median prices in the luxury market — the most expensive 10 percent of all sales — grew 29 percent, to $5.75 million from $4.46 million, according to the Corcoran Group’s quarterly report.

The town of Southampton Village had a median price of $4.6 million, an 86 percent year-over-year increase from $2.47 million, Corcoran’s report shows. It showed the highest annual price gains of all the other towns, just like in the second quarter.

On the North Fork, which is not officially part of the Hamptons, the median price of a home ticked up 1 percent to $410,000 from $406,000, Corcoran data show.

“Housing can be relisted and rehabbed for more money, so that creates a whole other market,” said Ernie Cervi, Corcoran’s executive managing director in Bridgehampton. “New listings are moving fast. If they are priced well, they are going to sell.”

Not all reports showed positive year-over-year change in the third quarter. Hamptons residential brokerage Town & Country Real Estate said that home sales on the East End plummeted over the same period last year, with sales slipping 9.1 percent to 252 from 278 sales, as The Real Deal reported.

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