Hamptons Buyers Wait for More Inventory

Hamptons Real Estate has been in a strong sellers market for two years now and despite national news that inventory began to catch up to demand in Q4 2021, the same is not true in the Hamptons.  

241 Main Street, Sag Harbor

As of February 1, 2022, there were 48% fewer listings available for sale east of the Shinnecock canal than the same day in 2021. Though there were 28% fewer contracts signed in January 2022 than January 2021, there were 47% more contracts signed in January 2022 than the average of January 2020 and 2019. In January 2022, there were 76 new listings and 96 homes went under contract. 

Many stories have been published about Hamptons homes that have traded for hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars above the asking prices. For example, 241 Main Street in Sag Harbor was listed by Rylan Jacka of Sotheby’s International Realty in August 2021 for $11,500,000, went under contract in September and closed in January 2022 for $12 million, 4.25% above the asking price. Homes priced in range with those that have recently traded continue to find deals above the list price.

There is another type of property offering, however, that is achieving above asking price deals — the recently reduced listing. 45 Oyster Shores Road in East Hampton listed in July 2021 for $2,950,000 million with Rebekah Baker of Sotheby’s International Realty. In November 2021, it was reduced to $2,750,000, went under contract nine days later, and closed in January 2022 for $2,850,000. Hamptons buyers did not bid low when the property was overpriced, but someone bid 7.3% more once the price was brought within market value. 

45 Oyster Shores Road, East Hampton

The property at 36 Sunset Beach Road in Sag Harbor was listed in September 2019 for $7,495,000 with Jason Schommer of the Corcoran Group. It was reduced in September of 2020 to $6,750,000. Not selling through the most robust seller’s markets in all history, another year later, in October 2021, the property asking price was reduced again to $5,995,000 and finally closed on January 18, 2022 for $6.2 million. Once again, Hamptons buyers showed they were not willing to bid low to the price, but someone was willing to bid 3.3% more once the price was reduced.

36 Sunset Beach Road, Sag Harbor

Data show that there are still plenty of buyers waiting in the wings for more inventory — every full time agent recently interviewed has at least 6-10 buyers, and with “nothing to show” them. There are about 300 full time producing agents in the Hamptons. That’s approximately 2,400 ready, willing and able buyers working with real estate agents waiting in the wings. While they are willing to pay a fair amount more than market value to have their foothold in the Hamptons, they just aren’t willing to play with sellers who continue to be overambitious.

To sellers whose properties have been sitting on the market for 60 days or more, the story of the property at 4 Sachem’s Path in Wainscott sums up the change in the Hamptons real estate market since 2019 extremely well. The property was listed for $2,495,000 in July 2019 by Laura White of Saunders and Associates and closed at a 4% discount in September 2020 for $2,395,000. The same property was re-listed in August 2021 with William Wolff of Douglas Elliman for $2,695,000 and closed in January 2022 for $2,745,000. The exact same house on the exact same property.

4 Sachems Path, Wainscott

Data show that Hamptons buyers are able to wrap their heads around a quick property turn around for 14.6% more, but they are just not able to wrap their heads around list prices 20% above the last recent trade. No one likes to feel taken advantage of and sellers are achieving more when they have allowed the market to determine the final sales price. 

Adrianna Nava is the founder of Hamptons Market Data and an Associate Real Estate Broker at Compass. 

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