As Manhattan’s luxury market cools, Hamptons high-end properties rise in Q3

Median sales price for the top 10% of the market was up, but the middle market slipped

TRD New York /
Oct.October 27, 2016 08:30 AM
Oceanfront homes in the Hamptons

Oceanfront homes in the Hamptons

Following a slowdown that has affected the local market for more than a year, Hamptons luxury properties saw a jump in prices and sales volume in the third quarter.

The quarter’s median sales price for Hamptons luxury properties — which is the top 10 percent of the market — was $6.2 million, a 17 percent rise year-over-year. According to Douglas Elliman’s latest market report, sales over $5 million increased 29 percent year-over-year and sales below $1 million rose 22 percent year-over-year. Across the entire Hamptons market, sales increased 2 percent compared to this time last year, the first rise in five consecutive quarters.

However, Jonathan Miller, CEO of appraisal firm Miller Samuel, told The Real Deal that sales between $1 million and $5 million — which Miller says has previously been considered a “sweet spot” — fell by 24 percent. The decline in that “middle market” pulled the Hamptons third quarter’s overall median sale price down to $825,000 — a 13 percent drop year-over-year.

“I’m only speculating but that may be something to do with Wall Street,” Miller said. “Hedge funds aren’t having a good year and maybe there’s a little bit of a pull-back, at least for now.”

He cautioned that this data only represents one quarter and may not necessarily indicate a resurgence of the high-end market.

The renewed activity in Hamptons luxury properties stands in contrast to the lull in Manhattan’s high-end residential market. In the third quarter of 2016, fewer homes in Manhattan sold above the initial asking price and discounts were also on the rise.

“The bump-up at the high end of the Hampton markets is unusual — it wasn’t expected,” Miller said. “It breaks away from the pattern that we’ve usually been seeing. In Manhattan we’ve seen softness at the top, in the Hamptons this quarter we didn’t.”

According to Miller, there was significant sales activity on the North Fork but prices remained flat. The median price there was $515,000, which is hardly changed from this time last year.

A separate third-quarter report from the Corcoran Group described sales in the East End during the third quarter as strong.

“Just in this quarter we closed on three properties over $25 million – a waterfront North Haven property for $33.75 million, a 11,000-square-foot home on Noyac Bay in North Haven, and a Southampton oceanfront [property] for $27.5 million,” said Ernest Cervi of Corcoran.

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