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Looking for a home in the Hamptons? Get ready to shell out $1.3 million

A historic home under construction on three acres

A historic home under construction on three acres near Coopers Beach in Southampton is listed for $35 million.  Credit: Brown Harris Stevens

If you’re looking for a home on the East End this spring, hold onto your wallet.

The median home price in the Hamptons was $1.3 million in the first three months of the year, up more than 31% from a year earlier, the appraisal company Miller Samuel and the brokerage Douglas Elliman said in a report to be released Thursday. The number of home sales increased annually by 48%.

There was a "massive surge" in sales activity in the $1 million to $5 million range, where the number of sales jumped by almost 83% compared with a year earlier, said Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of Miller Samuel.

Luxury vacation market now a co-primary market

With New York City homebuyers seeking more space during the pandemic, Miller said, the Hamptons "pivoted from a luxury vacation market to a co-primary market where people are opting for second homes that they can envision living in year-round if they want to, they have that flexibility."

On the North Fork, the median price was $751,000 in the first quarter, a year-over-year jump of more than 23%, the companies reported. Sales activity leaped by 59%.

Homes sold for amounts higher than the last listing price — an indication that bidding wars drove up prices — in nearly 22% of sales in the Hamptons and almost 35% of sales on the North Fork, Miller said.

"Is this market going to continue to ride up at the rate that it has? No, I don't think so," Judi Desiderio, chief executive of Town & Country Real Estate, based in East Hampton. But, she said, "I don't think it's going to go back down either…. It's going to be a long time before we have more supply than we have demand. The only place that we probably have more supply than demand is over $10 million."

Rental market remains strong

Christopher Burnside, an associate broker with Brown Harris Stevens in Westhampton Beach, said the rental and sales markets remain strong enough that he rented out his Sag Harbor home for $175,000 for July and August, when he will be traveling with his family, and he recently sold a six-bedroom home he built on 1.3 acres in Water Mill for $6 million.

But, he said, some prospective buyers are getting fed up. "They're just kind of waiting in the sidelines to see what happens," he said. "Prices aren’t going to stay like this forever."

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