Sales were up in the Hamptons at the end of last year, according to market reports released Thursday by some of New York’s biggest real estate brokerages.
Fourth quarter sales across the South Fork—which comprises most of the tony Hamptons towns—showed a marked improvement versus the same time the prior year when activity was suppressed due to the presidential election, Corcoran’s report said.
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“In general when there’s an election the market gets a little quiet,” Ernest Cervi, regional senior vice president of Corcoran’s East End offices, told Mansion Global. “People like to see how things are going to go, and then things pick up.”
The number of reported sales (581) in the fourth quarter was more on par with what was seen in 2015, the report said.
Of the 13 areas in South Fork that Corcoran analyzed, only one, Water Mill, logged a decline in sales in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to the year prior. Montauk saw the biggest leap in sales numbers, logging 100% more sales than the end of 2016, followed by Remsenburg and Westhampton (up 66%) and East Hampton and Wainscott (up 62%).
The biggest increases in sales year-over-year tended to be in the areas with lower prices, according to the Corcoran report.
“Forty-four percent of the activity was under $1 million,” Mr. Cervi said. “So there was increased activity at lower price points.”
No transaction topped $30 million in the fourth quarter, “that has an impact on all the sales going down.”
The South Fork median price, down just 1% to $985,000, was nearly unchanged year-over-year. The average price, however, dropped 13% to $1.9 million, due to the better performance of lower-cost villages, the report said.
For Douglas Elliman, the Hamptons’ fourth quarter was marked by both more sales, less inventory and rising prices, according to the brokerage’s report compiled by real estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel.
Listing inventory declined annually for the 10th consecutive quarter, the report said, plummeting 42.5% to 756. The fall was also reflected in the luxury market—defined as the highest 10% of all sales—as inventory fell 31.2% to 172.
The median sales price increased 7.6% to $995,000, according to Douglas Elliman, the fourth consecutive quarter to see a rise.
The upsurge in the number of sales in the Hamptons in the fourth quarter 2017 versus 2016 is “testimony to the increase in activity experienced late in the year,” said brokerage Brown Harris Stevens in their report, noting that some of the largest sales of the year took place in December.
In the entirety of 2017, there were more than 40 sales over $10 million, compared to only a handful in 2016. In the last three months of the year there were 31 sales above $5 million, and seven above $10 million, the report said.
Despite this increase in high-end sales, over 68% of all sales in the Hamptons were below $2 million in the fourth quarter.
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