The Real Deal New York

The luxury market may be soft, but the “Hamptons middle” is doing all right

As the top end continues to deflate, sales overall see a moderate gain
By Christopher Cameron | October 26, 2017 07:00AM

Homes for sale in the Hamptons between $1-5M (Credit: Douglas Elliman)

The season may over but the housing market is still churning forward in the Hamptons. The so-called “Hamptons middle,” i.e. properties priced from $1 million to $5 million, saw a moderate year-over-year gain in the third quarter, according to Douglas Elliman’s market report.

The median sale price of a property in the Hamptons was $890,000 in the third quarter, a 7.9 percent improvement over the same period in 2016. However, the median sales price fell 13.6 percent from last quarter’s $1.03 million.

While overall inventory declined for the ninth consecutive quarter — with 1,465 listings on the market — the softening luxury market actually saw a jump in inventory. The top 10 percent of properties on the market in the Hamptons saw a spike of 33.6 percent in the third quarter, rising from 241 listings to 322.

“It is a very limited market to begin with,” Elliman’s regional vice president of sales for the Hamptons, Carl Benincasa said. “So on the high end of the market, we need to reconsider where we are pricing things.”

Still, the luxury market in the Hamptons it is not dead, Benincasa said, noting that there have been at least 10 deals for properties asking over $30 million this year.

The median sale price of a luxury home in the Hamptons fell 9.9 percent this quarter from $6.1 million to $5.5 million.

“One interesting thing is that we have seen growth in the condo market in the Hamptons,” Benincasa said, pointing to luxury developments like the Watchcase Condominiums in Sag Harbor. “People in the luxury market are trading size for convince.”