Hamptons market going strong in third quarter: report

Hamptons high-end home sales saw positive growth in the third quarter of 2011, according to a report by Hamptons brokerage Town & Country, with the upper categories monitored by the company for all Hampton markets combined realizing sizable gains of as much as 60 percent.

Sales in the Southampton area more than doubled from the third quarter of 2010 — to $41 million from $11.9 million — but Amagansett experienced the greatest year over year change in volume of home sales, to 11 in the third quarter of 2011 from 6 in third quarter of 2010.

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Sales prices were also up in nine of the 14 areas surveyed. In East Hampton, the median home sales price was up 39.92 percent; in Montauk, it was up 27.34 percent and in East Hampton Village, the median price was up by a massive 155.26 percent — to $4.85 million in the third quarter from $1.9 million a year previous, skewed by a few high-dollar transactions.

“All in all, analyzing [the data] and the trend for the third quarter 2011 is crystal clear- the high end drove the ship,” said Judi Desiderio, CEO of Town & Country.

Previously, a Prudential Douglas Elliman report in collaboration with Miller Samuel for the first half of 2011 saw sales were up 6 percent in the second quarter from the same three months last year and 63 percent from the first quarter of 2011. The dramatic increase, Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel, said, is due to misleading figures in the first quarter.

“The first quarter sales were artificially low because there was a mad rush to close before Dec. 31,” he said, referring to the expiration of the tax-free capital gains benefit, which was scheduled for that date. “People closed earlier, poaching closing transactions that would normally have happened in the first quarter” of 2011. Those rushed sales, Miller said, were mostly on the high end, thus, stymieing activity on the luxury end in the first quarter, but boosting such sales in the second quarter.
— Katherine Clarke