Hamptons market leans normal, North Fork not so much

New contracts surged Out East in August while low inventory choked North Fork

(Photo Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty Images)
(Photo Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty Images)

August brought a surge in new contracts to the Hamptons residential market, but a continued decline in activity in the North Fork.

The disparity between the two areas is due to uneven inventory on the east end of Long Island, according to a report compiled by Miller Samuel for Douglas Elliman. Single-family home inventory in the Hamptons hovering roughly in line with 2021 levels, while inventory in the North Fork dipping from the previous year.

Jonathan Miller (via Miller Samuel)

“In fairness, comparisons against a year ago are going to overstate the decline because a year ago was a rocket ship,” Miller Samuel CEO Jonathan Miller (pictured) said.

Compared to the pre-pandemic days of 2019, new signed contracts are down by a third in the Hamptons and down over 50 percent in North Fork, according to the report.

New listings in North Fork are down more than a third compared to pre-pandemic levels, but in the Hamptons they’re up 74 percent compared to August 2019 — a result of the higher price points that lie slightly south.

“The higher end of the market has seen more weakness than the lower end this summer,” Miller said.

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Miller said brokers’ anecdotes cited the market slowing due to the return of international travel, which swept many wealthy would-be homebuyers away on vacation.

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Seasonality is likely to return to the market, but higher interest rates could interfere with activity, Miller said.

New signed contracts in North Fork fell to 20 in August, down from 38 a year earlier. Contracts were fewer across all price ranges, except for homes asking less than $500,000, which held steady at two.

New listings fell across the board from 50 to 38, except for one more home asking between $1 million and $2 million listed this past August. New listings ticked up slightly month over month, but they’ve fallen annually for the past six months.

In the Hamptons, new signed contracts surged month over month, though they remained below 2021 levels, something Miller attributed to last year’s historically hot market. Annually, contracts fell to 82 from 114. All price ranges saw fewer contracts signed from the year before.

New listings rose annually to 138 from 133. Listings increased at the upper and lower ends of the market: new listings for homes asking under $1 million rose to 16 from 11. The number of homes asking between $10 million and $20 million rose to 13 from six, and the number of homes asking more than $20 million rose to eight from six.