Market Watch

By Ruth Thomas

Many realtors agree that although the summer of 2016 got off to a slow start, the season is finishing strong as we head into fall. New construction and waterfront properties continue to be hot as are properties in the $1M-$3M price range. With prices holding steady and quite a bit of inventory available, the market is turning from a seller’s to a buyer’s market. Now with an uptick in activity, a busy fall season is anticipated.

Judi Desiderio of Town & Country Real Estate says, “While the summer was seasonally quiet—the weather was so gorgeous most would rather be at the beach, on the boat or the golf course than looking at homes. Now, the fall selling season is strong in most markets and price ranges. $3M and below is the most active segment. Being within town limits—from Montauk to Westhampton—is in great demand. Prices are holding strong in most price ranges, other than the high end. Where future prices are headed will be determined by the market’s response to the election and the future moves by the Feds.” Judi observes, “All eight Town & Country offices are reporting heightened activity. Fall ordinarily is our busiest selling season.”

Anne Orton of The Corcoran Group says, “The sales pace picked up by the end of the summer after a slow start to the season, and the fall selling season has had a strong start. Prices are steady however there is quite a bit of inventory in the resale market and new construction market. There is good activity in the $1M-$3M price range and a flurry of activity in new construction in the $3M-$3.5M range. West of the Canal was certainly popular this summer – as per the Q2 Corcoran Report, sales were up 37% in East Quogue/Hampton Bays in the 2nd quarter year-over-year.” Anne notes, “The Hamptons market is steady and busy going into this fall selling season.”

Craig Amodemo of Hampton Estates Realty says, “The summer season was very busy and our sales were up from 2015. Both new construction and waterfront property continue to be hot. There are still some great values out there, but as inventory dwindles prices are heading higher. Inventory has been going down in the Westhampton/Quogue area. Builders are busy and demand remains very strong for new homes. This year we’ve seen a lot of buyers from Brooklyn.” Craig comments, “I’m seeing an up tick in the amount of homes going into contract. The fall promises to be a busy season.”

Ken Smallwood of Nest Seekers International says, “Overall the summer was an active sales season. The most active segment is still under $1M. There is strong demand for homes in Montauk close to a bay beach, or more desirable – an ocean beach. ‘The Lanes’ in Amagansett and along Bluff Road have exploded. New construction and teardowns rule the day. After a strong run-up in prices in 2014 and 2015 the Hamptons housing market has softened. Overall sales volume is down around 20%. This decrease in sales activity has turned the market from a seller’s to a buyer’s market.” Ken believes, “If recent trends hold, the fall selling season should be equal to the spring activity. It will still be a buyer’s market for the foreseeable future.”

Nancy Grady of Compass says, “The summer got off to a slow start, but gained steam as the season went on. Buyers are looking for value, and properties in and around the $1M mark are seeing a lot of activity. Throughout the summer we saw a lot of price reductions as agents worked with their sellers to adjust for market conditions. There is a lot of inventory, making this a great time to be a buyer. New construction is seeing more pricing pressure as a result of increased competition.” Nancy reflects, “The fall is off to a very busy start. In 2015 the 4th quarter saw the most property transfers and it looks like the same could be true for 2016.”

Cynthia Beck of Douglas Elliman Real Estate says, “So far, I’ve had one of my best years. Customers from this summer now seem to be gearing up to make decisions this fall. Sag Harbor has continued to be one of the fastest growing, most active markets. Prices were steadily increasing, but serious sellers have now adjusted pricing. There is a good amount of inventory that will take some time to move, making it a great time for buyers. New construction is always very desirable.” Cynthia states, “There has been a strong uptick at the end of the summer into the fall. I think we will see a strong surge through the end of the year.”

Susan Breitenbach of The Corcoran Group says, “The season picked up as summer went on – the weather was good, there was quite a bit of inventory, and prices were better than they have been in a long time, which drove our market. I have closed on over $100M in Hamptons real estate in the last six weeks or so! All areas are very active especially waterfront or close to the beach in all towns. Waterfront in Sag Harbor is very hot! With quite a bit of inventory and good prices, it is a good time to buy!” Susan remarks, “It has been an incredible fall so far and I do not see any reason for it not to continue!”

Andrea Ackerman of Brown Harris Stevens says, “Sales seemed sluggish for the first half of the season. Then suddenly there was a rush in August, which is continuing into the fall. For the first half of the year, the low end was the primary market mover. Now the activity appears to be in all price ranges. Although sales volume was down up to 22%, the selling prices have not gone down. Inventory is deep. There is a great deal of new construction being built, reflecting the demand for new homes.” Andrea predicts, “If things continue the way they have in the past couple of months, I am very optimistic that we will see a very strong finish to the year.”

Fall is a gorgeous time to visit the Hamptons. Experience the beautiful fall foliage, shop and dine in the chic villages or enjoy a quiet walk on the beach. After a fantastic summer, explore the Hamptons in autumn, its most glorious time of year. The Hamptons is expected to have a strong selling season this fall.