Hamptons homebuyers are getting a little relief after a yearlong frenzy of bidding wars.
The number of Hamptons single-family houses and condominiums going into contract fell by 37% last month compared with June 2020, when the COVID-19 real estate shutdown ended, the brokerage Douglas Elliman and appraisal company Miller Samuel reported this week.
The number of Hamptons pending sales has been trending downward since February, and dropped by 6.8% in June compared with the month before, the companies reported.
Many homes still attract multiple offers, said Todd Bourgard, senior executive regional manager of sales for Douglas Elliman, based in Hampton Bays. For instance, a Sagaponack property listed for $7.5 million drew nine bids, and a Westhampton Beach house asking $1.5 million had 11 prospective buyers vying for it, he said. Both went into contract last month for more than the asking prices, he said.
However, he said, the competition has become less intense. "We still have a large pool of buyers out here, but they are certainly waiting for the house that they want," rather than snapping up houses that need work, Bourgard said.
It’s tricky to compare this year’s home sales with last year’s, since the pandemic threw the 2020 housing market into disarray. Throughout Long Island, the housing market all but halted due to the COVID-19 real estate shutdown from March through mid-June 2020, and then went into overdrive as buyers sought out suburban refuges and competed to take advantage of near-record-low interest rates.
The average mortgage rate was 2.9% last week, mortgage giant Freddie Mac reported.
The Hamptons market remained active last month in comparison with June 2019, a more normal start to summer long before the pandemic. In a sign that demand is still strong, buyers signed contracts to purchase 137 single-family homes and condominiums in the Hamptons last month, 16% more than in June 2019, Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman figures show.
There are "plenty of buyers that are coming and seeking to live out here on a year-round basis," from Hampton Bays to East Hampton and in all price ranges, especially $2 million to $5 million, Bourgard said.
"The only town that has slowed down would be Montauk, because they lack the inventory," he said.
There were 161 new listings for Hamptons single-family homes last month, down 9% from a year earlier, Miller Samuel figures show. The only price bands where new listings increased year-over-year were the $4 million to $5 million range, and $10 million and up, the company reported.
In the luxury Hamptons real estate market, "the rapid price growth is pulling more inventory onto the market," said Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of Miller Samuel. "The high end is where the inventory came on, and I think a lot of that has to do with the greater mobility of the high-end property owner."
The North Fork housing market also slowed last month, with 53 single-family houses and condominiums going into contract, Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman figures show. That’s down 17% from June 2020 and from June 2019 — in each of those months, there had been 64 pending sales, the companies reported. There were 76 new listings for single-family homes on the North Fork, up 13% from a year earlier, the companies reported.