The Hamptons housing market is showing signs of stabilizing for the first time since the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean homes will become more affordable anytime soon.
While inventory remains near historic lows, constraining sales, the area’s new supply rose, according to a report compiled by Miller Samuel for Douglas Elliman. Supply rose 13 percent from quarter to quarter to hit 5.1 months, though it’s still down annually by 25 percent.
“The market remains extremely tight,” but the expansion of supply in the area is picking up “faster than we’d expect,” said the report’s author, Jonathan Miller.
“If inventory were two or three times higher in the Hamptons, it would still be significantly below levels we saw pre-pandemic,” Miller said.
Inventory fell by 41 percent to 671 available homes from the first quarter of last year. That’s pushed the average sales price up to a record $2.6 million. The median sales price rose almost 8 percent to $1.4 million.
There are some indicators “the market is normalizing, but normalizing has an asterisk next to it, which is reduced volatility, but likely a higher price threshold in the post-pandemic world,” Miller said, adding the Hamptons are now a “co-primary market instead of a second home/vacation market.”
In the luxury market, which encompasses the top 10 percent of sales, the median sale price fell 4 percent quarterly to $7.7 million, but remains 32 percent higher than the median price a year ago.
The North Fork is experiencing similar conditions but supply fell for the 10th straight quarter. Listing inventory was down 26 percent year-over-year to just 89 homes, the second-lowest level ever.
Bidding wars marked 41 percent of home sales last quarter, the second-highest level on record. The peak of 52 percent was two quarters ago, which helped push the median sale price up to $848,000, a 13 percent annual increase.
The median sale price in the luxury market fell 22 percent annually to $1.8 million from $2.4 million due to buyer hesitancy.
“Cash buyers are cognizant of the world around them and this is just an element of uncertainty that most markets in the U.S. seem to be dealing with right now,” Miller said.