Gurney's Inn
January 29, 2014

Helter Skelter Real Estate Market

By Rick Murphy

The East End real estate, is like the Sally Field character in the classic movie Sybil – you never know what personality it will take on at any given time.

A comparison of third quarter sales to the same period last year showed units were moving at a much faster clip and inventory was dropping.

A new fourth quarter analysis by Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel, prepared for Elliman, shows few clear trends emerging. However, an accompanying 10-year analysis confirms that East End real estate is still a very safe bet to appreciate in value.

"Aside from comparisons against last year's "fiscal cliff" surge in high end sales, current market shows stability," Miller pointed out. Expiring tax credits that made selling off high-end properties financially prudent brought about the sell-off at the end of 2012.

There is no doubt sales slipped, though: there were sales above $1 million, price indicators fell, and listing inventory jumped from a year ago low.

In the Hamptons, Median Sales price fell 15 percent to $770,500 and Average Sales price declined 26.1 percent to $1,574,327. The number of deed transfers slipped 6.2 percent to 496.

There were some encouraging signs: Days on Market was 163 days, down 25.2 percent. The Listing Discount dropped considerably, to 7.9 percent from 13.1 percent.

Similar to the Hamptons, Price Indicators fell from a year ago and the "fiscal cliff" numbers skew upper end sales. 

But there was plenty of good news: Sales hit a five-year high – 167 in the fourth quarter - and like the Hamptons Days on Market and Listing Discount fell as market conditions remained "tight."

Median Sales Price on the North Fork declined six percent to $453,500. Average Sales Price increased 14.4 percent to $634,826.

Looking at the 10-year comparison, despite a somewhat stagnant market since 2008, the Average Sales Price on the East End rose 35.5 percent since 2004. In the Hamptons, it rose 44.7 percent, to over $1.5 million. Sales of high-end properties – over $3.3 million -- rose 69.2 percent since 2004.

On the North Fork the numbers are more sobering: the Average Sales Price since 2004 actually decreased by 9.2 percent to $601.847.

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