Tides Have Turned in East End Real Estate

The results are in for the first quarter, and it looks like real estate has some good news to report. Both Corcoran and Town and Country Real Estate released their highly read, first quarter reports last week and the results tend to say one thing, prices have come down, but buying has come up. Is the tide turning in East End real estate?

According to the Corcoran report, the average price declined by 10% in the Hamptons. The inventory decreased by 1.5% from last year and increased by 1.3% compared to Fourth Quarter 2012. Somewhat unremarkably, compared to last quarter, the average sale price dropped by 36% and the median price of homes dropped 24% for the whole area. The residential luxury market in the Hamptons, according to Corcoran went as expected. The median and average prices for the South Fork declined in the first quarter by 13% and 19% respectively. This was expected because high-end purchasers acted in record numbers in late 2012, before new tax structures went into effect. This fact was a large theme for both reports, since if it wasn’t for the tax selling, these drops would be extraordinarily surprising.

It’s important to keep in mind the 1st quarter of closed sales reflects the business—or deals—of the prior quarter due to the time lapse between making a deal and sitting down to the closing, then having the closing documents recorded Shelter Island, statistically, had the greatest percent ascent in both the Number of Home Sales and Total Home Sales Volume, at 50% and 118% respectively. That is simply statistical, since the Number of Home Sales rose from 6 to 9 and the Total Homes Sale Volume from $3.14M to $6.85M—not a lot of data to analyze. One of the brightest spots for activity was Bridgehampton (which includes Water Mill and Sagaponack) where there was $98.7 million Total Home Sales Volume and a 40% increase in home sales in the $5 million to $9.99 million range. Those seven sales in 1st Quarter 2013 account for all the sales in that price range for all Hamptons markets combined.

Montauk had an increase of 41% in the Number of Home Sales from 17 to 24 . Southampton Village experienced the greatest pullback, a 73% drop in the Number of Home Sales from 15 to 4 and a dramatic 86% loss in Total Home Sales Volume from $49 million to $7 million.

According to Judi A. Desiderio, CEO of Town and Country Real Estate, “In my professional opinion, this is simply a blip on the radar screen. Southampton Village has always been one of the East End’s crown jewels. In fact, looking at the Median Home Sales Price, Southampton Village more than doubled from $800K in 2012 to $1.625M in 2013, although still far off from its high water mark, but Southampton Village is coming back.”

Desiderio also stressed that all eight Town and Country offices and associates are busier than they have ever been in the last six years and that these appointments will result in sales.

Busy bees in real estate means that more sales are on their way for the next couple of quarters, and as we head into the summer season, Hamptons real estate is certainly looking like the place to be.

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