Hamptons, North Fork home sales slow, but prices keep climbing
There’s no room at the inn for East End buyers.
Sparse listings continue to plague the Hamptons and the North Fork markets, and home sales, likewise crippled by high mortgage rates, dragged in the fourth quarter, according to a report for Douglas Elliman by appraisal firm Miller Samuel.
On the bright side for buyers and agents, the number of listings rose annually in both markets, although inventories remain at less than half of pre-pandemic levels. With few homes on the market, competition for them is strong, and bidding wars are still fairly common — accounting for nearly one in five sales in the Hamptons and nearly one in four on the North Fork.
“Buyers are waiting in the wings,” said Ernie Cervi, a Corcoran executive on the East End. “We just don’t have the inventory.”
The modest increase in Hamptons homes for sale, coupled with mortgage rates above 6 percent, have caused home prices to come down a bit from their pandemic highs.
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The new listings at the start of the new year is a sign that the East End is moving in the right direction, said Robert Nelson, executive director of Brown Harris Stevens in the Hamptons. He added that inventory will likely pick up eventually.
“Aspirational pricing is a waste of time. Realistic prices will get the deal done.”.
“Nothing happens immediately in real estate,” Nelson said. “When sellers see that real prices haven’t declined, I think we’ll have more come on [the market] when they can get a good value for their sale.”
Sale prices in the two markets diverged last quarter. On the North Fork, they reached a record high for the fourth time in five months, but declined slightly in the Hamptons year-over-year and even more from the third quarter.
With the pandemic-era boom fading from view, agents are hoping sellers start to lower their price expectations.
“This is not a Covid market,” Cervi said. “Aspirational pricing is a waste of time. Realistic prices will get the deal done.”
The median sale price in the Hamptons was $1.3 million, down 6 percent from the same period in 2021. Listings rose 12 percent year-over-year but were down 15 percent from the third quarter. Sales fell to 251, a 25 percent quarterly decline and a 53 percent dip from the fourth quarter of 2021.
On the North Fork, the median sale price was $995,000, up 11 percent year-over-year. Listings increased by 75 percent from a year ago but were off 12 percent from the previous quarter. Sales dropped to 103, down 6 percent quarterly and 36 percent annually.
High-end sales in the Hamptons and the North Fork accounted for a smaller share of closings than during the third quarter, when they hit record highs. About 11 percent of homes sold on the North Fork went for $2 million or more, while 10 percent of homes sold in the Hamptons fetched at least $5 million.