When the New York real estate market collapsed during the 2020 pandemic, home sales boomed in the Hamptons.
It started with a rush for spring rentals. New Yorkers were looking for beach access and airy neighborhoods months earlier than in previous years. Then, as the weather warmed up, many of these tenants, paying exorbitant monthly rates, started buying. Others joined them, and the buying frenzy continued through the fall and winter as housing supply dwindled and prices rose in the East End of Long Island.
Sales in the Hamptons grew annually at the highest rate in a decade, according to a new report from Douglas Elliman. The median selling price for 2020 was $ 1,202,500, up 40 percent from 2019, and the first time the year-end price exceeded the million dollar mark. The number of sales for the year increased 37 percent to 2,186 from 1,597 in 2019.
Record-low mortgage rates have allowed buyers to pay inflated house prices, and many Manhattan office workers who spent the pandemic working from home in the East End have helped make the Hamptons and North Fork into year-round communities, at least for the time being close .
"The East End has benefited greatly from the challenges facing the city," said Jonathan Miller, reviewer and author of the year-end report. "This region has its day."
In Manhattan, agents and salespeople have had a bleak year and can only see a glimmer of recovery. The ban on demonstrations at the start of the pandemic closed the market, which did not rebound to 2019 levels when it reopened. More than 400,000 New Yorkers left the city last spring to await the pandemic elsewhere, and many expanded their plans to stay out of New York.
In the Hamptons, sales and prices broke records even in the usually drowsy months at the end of the year. In the fourth quarter, revenue more than doubled year-over-year to 803 sales, according to the Douglas Elliman report, and median home prices rose 55 percent to $ 1.4 million.
The price hike, however, is less about rising prices in the overall market and more about strong upper-end sales, Miller said, as wealthy New Yorkers and other shoppers who fled to Long Island's East End took the prices paid for it High-end to new heights. Corcoran reported that the number of Hamptons sales above $ 5 million nearly tripled in the fourth quarter and the median retail price for the luxury market – defined as the top 10 percent of sales – increased 12 percent to US 7.2 million Dollar has gone up.
One result of all these activities: a decline in supply on the market. According to Douglas Elliman, the number of listings fell 9 percent to 1,745 from 1,919 in the same period last year.
The North Fork market, where property prices are lower, performed similarly. In 2020, the median retail price there rose 24 percent to $ 805,000, while inventory shrank 61 percent to 136 items from 2019.
Analysts and brokers alike are asking whether this level of activity is sustainable. Low mortgage rates are likely to apply for now, but the future of commuting is less clear. With the availability of vaccinations, companies are considering reopening the offices to workers in 2021. Still, the virus has been unpredictable and working from home has become a lifestyle for many.
Robert Nelson, the executive director of Brown Harris Stevens in the Hamptons, said that while the pandemic's initial buying frenzy was over, "the people who had long-term plans to secure a Hamptons home seem to be just bringing their schedules up by a few years increased. "
Andreassi, a broker in Nest Seekers International's Southampton office, stressed that the supply problem could be the most important factor in a limited market with so much activity.
"The number of transactions in 2021 cannot keep up with 2020 as the number of options available has completely dissolved," he said. "There are really very few options left that are high quality purchases and investments for people."
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