The bubbly may be flowing in the Hamptons this summer, but the property market is flat.
In the second quarter this year, sales in the Hamptons slumped 12.8 percent, according to Douglas Elliman’s latest market report. It marked the first year-over-year decline since 2016. But with 601 sales, the total number remains above average, said Jonathan Miller, CEO of appraisal firm Miller Samuel and the author of the report.
“It is a large drop, but we were running at elevated sales levels last year,” he said. “We did see a reset of sorts in sales.”
At the same time, the median sales price fell — 5.3 percent versus a year earlier — for the first time in six quarters.
Market share expanded below the $1 million price point and above $5 million, creating a soft “middle” range, Miller said. That may be partly due to uncertainty stemming from the federal tax law changes. “The tax law seems to have more impact as you move up in price,” he said. But after a point, it’s not enough of an impact to dissuade buyers.
The median sales price in the luxury segment was up 2 percent year-over-year to $6.3 million, though the number of sales fell to 61 from 69. Buyers on average scored a discount of 9.7 percent in the second quarter of 2018, down from the 15.2 percent in the second quarter of 2017, according to the report.
In a separate report, the Corcoran Group noted the South Fork luxury market saw an uptick. The median price climbed 18 percent. That jump raised the threshold for the high-end — the top 10 percent of sales — to $4.9 million, up from $3.8 million a year ago.
With the reset, the Hamptons market is behaving more like the New York City metro area, Miller said. In the second quarter, Manhattan sales fell 16.6 percent in a drag that’s also brought prices down.