East End homebuyers face tightest market ever

Another brutal quarter for Hamptons and North Fork property hunters

(iStock/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
(iStock/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

Despite low supply, homebuyers keep feeding on the East End like fish in a drying-up pond.

The Hamptons had only 794 listings in the fourth quarter of 2021, a 55 percent drop from a year ago, according to a report by Douglas Elliman compiled by appraiser Jonathan Miller.

As a result, bidding wars pushed the average sale price to $2.5 million, up 13 percent year-over-year.

The numbers set records for the area. Average and median sale prices reached their highest levels and listing inventory fell at the fastest annual rate in the 15 years that Miller has been tracking East End sales.

“Prices have either set or flirted with records just about every quarter,” Miller said.

The story is much the same on the North Fork.

Listing inventory last quarter fell to a mere 81 properties, a 40 percent yearly decline. Average sale price surged 17 percent to $1.2 million.

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The average and median sale prices on the North Fork hit their highest levels in the history of Miller’s report. Listings fell sharply year-over-year and for the eighth straight quarter, reaching a new low. The pace of sales and low inventory combined to make it the second fastest–paced market since 2005.

Bidding wars were common with nearly 4 out of 10 closings in the quarter selling above the last asking price.

“The East End is going through one of the tightest eras of limited supply that it’s ever faced,” Miller said. “Even if inventory doubled overnight, it would still be well below what we would normally consider low inventory.”

Luxury properties drove the market in some areas. The share of luxury sales over $6 million on the South Fork increased to over 90 percent, according to a report by Corcoran. The quarter’s most expensive reported luxury transaction was at 90 Jule Pond Drive in Water Mill at $105 million.

Excluding the Hamptons and North Fork, Long Island listing inventory dropped 34 percent to 4,280 properties. In fact, listing inventory fell to the lowest level in 18 years of Miller’s tracking. Average sale price went up nearly 9 percent to $661,000.

It wasn’t just homes that drew interest. The 100 reported South Fork vacant land transactions were 10 more than in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the Corcoran report. On the North Fork, 35 vacant parcels sold, up from 22.

South Fork commercial property sales nearly tripled to 32 in the quarter from 11 a year earlier. The median price increased 85 percent and the average price more than doubled.

Commercial sales are limited on the North Fork, which is more agricultural than its southern counterpart. But the nine recorded in the quarter represented a three-fold increase from a year ago. The median sale price doubled, to $1.4 million, and the average price rose by 92 percent to $1.8 million.