Hamptons Home Prices Set Record on Jump in $5 Million Deals

  • Average price for vacation getaways rises 16% to $2.38 million
  • `I don’t think the stock market really impeded' buyers: broker

Home prices in New York’s Hamptons reached an all-time high in the fourth quarter, as buyers in the eastern Long Island resort towns made a record number of deals for at least $5 million.

The average price for all Hamptons purchases that closed in the three months through December was $2.38 million, up 16 percent from a year earlier and the highest in records dating to 2005, brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate and appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. said in a report Thursday. Of the 613 total sales, 62 were for properties priced at $5 million or more, the most in a single quarter by both number and market share.

“The Hamptons doesn’t seem to be following the stereotypical housing market right now, where you have weakness at the top because of rising inventory,” Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel, said in an interview. “Perhaps there’s a long-term investment rationale, from weariness of financial market volatility.”

An erratic quarter for global stocks and commodities didn’t dim appetites for pricey vacation getaways in the Hamptons, a second-home market whose fortunes are tied to Wall Street and the people who work there. New York City’s financial industry added 12,600 jobs last year, and the average bonus rose 2 percent to $172,860, the highest level since the financial crisis.

No Impediment

“I don’t think the stock market really impeded our market at all in the last months of the year,” said Ernest Cervi, a senior vice president at brokerage Corcoran Group who oversees Hamptons sales. “The last quarter was very much like ones we had all through the year.”

Corcoran Group, in its own report on the Hamptons, said the median sale price, which isn’t as influenced by deals at the high end, climbed 3 percent to $1.12 million. Towns west of the Shinnecock Canal had some of the biggest price gains, such as Quogue Village, where the median jumped 21 percent to $1.9 million.

The quarter’s most-expensive transaction was the $57.3 million sale in October of an oceanfront property at 226 Further Lane in East Hampton, according to Miller. The second- and third-priciest deals closed in the final two weeks of the year: a $50 million purchase of two lots in Montauk, and the sale of 28 Gin Lane in Southampton for its asking price of $40 million.

‘Development Opportunity’

The Gin Lane property, spanning almost 4 acres (1.6 hectares) along the Atlantic oceanfront, was marketed as a “development opportunity” that would allow for the construction of a 15,000-square-foot (1,400-square-meter) main house as well as a guest house, pool and tennis court, according to a listing from Corcoran Group. The property was marketed for sale for the first time in 55 years.

There were a record 26 sales above $10 million in the quarter, Miller said.

For luxury homes in the Hamptons, the top 10 percent of all deals, the median price jumped 19 percent from a year earlier to $8.3 million, the highest in five years of record-keeping. Properties in that category took less time to sell -- 197 days, compared with 201 days in the fourth quarter of 2014 -- even as the inventory climbed 5.6 percent to 207 homes.

The interest in higher-end homes sent prices up in some towns despite a drop in the number of sales. In the village of East Hampton, the median price more than doubled to $4 million, and deals slipped 17 percent to 15, Corcoran Group said in its report. In Amagansett, sales fell 19 percent to 25, while the median price of those deals climbed 8 percent from a year earlier to $2.25 million.