Real Estate

Houses Up, Condos Down. What’s Selling in the Hamptons These Days?

During the first quarter of 2024, sales of single-family homes in the Hamptons were up 35 percent year-over-year, and sale prices for those homes increased more than 25 percent, according to data from the Elliman Report. What’s driving these increases?

“It’s not that everything is appreciating,” explained Jonathan Miller, of Miller Samuel, which prepared the report. “The mix is shifting to much higher-priced homes.”

The median sale price for a single-family home in the Hamptons during the quarter rose to about $1.9 million, and the average was about $3.3 million. But among the most expensive homes — those in the top 10 percent of sale prices — the median was $10.65 million and the average over $14.1 million.

The higher averages indicate that the most expensive homes are pulling up the entire market. And there were more of those sales: The share of Hamptons homes that cost at least $5 million made up 14 percent of all sales during Q1 2024, the second highest share for this segment since Mr. Miller began tracking it in Q2 2006 — behind only the nearly 20 percent during Q4 2023. About 21 percent more of these expensive homes were listed in Q1 2024 than a year earlier.

This all represents a recovery of sorts — at least, a recovery from the pandemic. But overall, the number of homes sold during Q1 2024 was still about 33 percent lower than in Q1 2020, just before the pandemic, and inventory was 44 percent lower.

While Mr. Miller can’t track all-cash sales in the Hamptons, he can in Manhattan, where they are high: more than 63 percent of sales in Q1 2024. The Hamptons and Manhattan markets are somewhat “joined at the hip,” Mr. Miller said, with a similar type of buyer, so it’s a safe assumption that people who are liquid enough to buy without needing to take on today’s high-interest-rate mortgages are behind much of the recent Hamptons activity.

Another indicator: The median sale price for a Hamptons condo during Q1 2024 was down nearly 19 percent year-over-year, to $600,250, yet total sales and listing inventory were roughly flat — showing that for those who need to borrow, the lower prices don’t make buying in the Hamptons much easier.

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