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Some 'low end' moves in Hamptons

East Hampton shortly after sunrise. Despite rising mortgage

East Hampton shortly after sunrise. Despite rising mortgage rates and economic uncertainty, home sales on the East End have been healthy. (June 21, 2010) Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin

Buyers in the Hamptons scooped up less opulent homes to rebuild and renovate, leading to robust sales in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to a market report released Thursday by The Corcoran Group.

Home sales in the Hamptons were up close to 50 percent at the end of last year, with 616 sales, compared to 421 sales in the fourth quarter of 2012, after superstorm Sandy. A significant number of the sales that closed between October and December of 2013 were at the lower end of the market, with the median price slipping 7 percent, from $955,000 to $889,000.

Ernie Cervi, an executive managing director in Corcoran’s Hamptons division, says this means investors see opportunity. “They’re coming into the market and sensing that there’s equity to be had in renovating and rehabbing these homes and putting them back on the market. Any one of the homes out here can be considered an investment because they’re very rentable.”

Despite rising mortgage rates and economic uncertainty, home sales on the East End have been healthy. Nine of the 14 hamlets on the South Fork had double-digit increases in sales volume, according to the report. Overall sales in Southampton were up 97 percent in the last three months of 2013.

On the North Fork, there’s the flip side: The homes that sold at the end of last year were a little more expensive than in 2012, with the median price up 4 percent, from $418,000 to $435,000. Overall sales were up 70 percent, compared to the same time last year.

“It’s showing the health of the market for the fourth quarter,” Cervi says. “Based on the activity and the economic conditions being favorable, we see no reason for that to change.”

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