Long Island home prices suffer first annual drop in decade

Supply remains low in Hamptons, North Fork, rest of peninsula

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

The year-over-year median price for a home on Long Island — excluding the Hamptons and North Fork — had not dropped in 10 years. Until last quarter.

But the peninsula is still no picnic for homebuyers, as the market there and on the East End remains tight and rife with bidding wars, according to a quarterly report by Miller Samuel for Douglas Elliman.

Inventory in all three markets is still low, constraining sales and generally sustaining high prices, even as the pandemic-era bonanza fades, the report found.

On Long Island, not including the vacation-home markets, the median home sale price fell to $575,000 from $580,000 in the first quarter a year ago.

“The market is leveling off as it’s coming out of the pandemic-era housing boom,” said report author and Miller Samuel CEO Jonathan Miller. “When we look at median pricing, [it’s] 27.8 percent higher than pre-pandemic, which in three years shows you how much housing prices have expanded on Long Island.”

Miller’s report, which separates the Hamptons and North Fork from the rest of Long Island, shows supply in all three has cratered since the pandemic sent wealthy New Yorkers fleeing to their second homes. It is now trending up on Long Island, to 2.9 months of inventory last quarter from a meager 1.9 in 2022, it still hasn’t recovered.

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Bidding wars occurred in more than 33 percent of sales last quarter, down from nearly 50 percent a year ago but well above historical norms.

“The market is not as fast as it was a year ago but it’s still moving quickly,” Miller said. “It went from white-hot to blistering. It’s a nuanced distinction.”

Prices in the Hamptons were held afloat by strong activity in the luxury market — defined as the top 10 percent by price — which accounted for over 4 percent of quarterly sales, the second highest share in Miller’s records. That lifted the quarterly average sale price to $16 million, nearly double the $8 million median price.

The overall median home price fell 2.9 percent year-over-year to $1.36 million from $1.4 million in 2022, but remains nearly 38 percent above pre-pandemic levels. The 171 sales last quarter was the second lowest total on record.

“This part is anecdotal, but in talking to the real estate community in the East End, the problem is a lot of the listings that are coming on are simply priced for early ’21, or early ’22. They’re not in sync with the current market,” said Miller.

The median and average sale prices on the North Fork were $935,000 and $1.2 million, respectively, the third highest in history. Listing inventory surged year-over-year but remained down more than 50 percent from before the pandemic, leading to 28 percent of homes undergoing a bidding war. That’s down from nearly 41 percent last year, but still high.

“Supply is still struggling to keep up,” said Miller. “We need to see inventory pick up faster to enable more activity to occur.”

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