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Take your pick: The number of houses for sale in the Hamptons increased 84 percent in the second quarter

Buyers are holding back in the Hamptons, discouraged by changes to the federal tax law.

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East End buyers are shunning the Hamptons in favor of the North Fork, where sales are surging. That region saw the median sales price rise for the ninth straight quarter, according to Douglas Elliman’s second quarter Long Island, Hamptons, and North Fork sales market reports. 

The market is also booming on Long Island, but the same can’t be said of the Hamptons, where sales have stalled amid rising inventory.

In the Hamptons, buyers are holding back, discouraged by changes to the federal tax law.  The median sales price decreased year-over-year for the fifth time in six quarters, declining 4.2 percent to $850,000. However, sales at the high end of the market were in line with quarterly average for the past decade. 

Hamptons listing inventory, which has increased significantly over the last three quarters, jumped 84.2 percent to 2,557 in the second quarter.

“The market in the Hamptons is still showing signs of softness, with fewer sales and an increase in supply,” says Todd Bourgard, Douglas Elliman’s senior executive regional manager of sales for the Hamptons. “We are seeing some evidence of stabilization in the near term, though, as sellers in the luxury market are beginning to price closer to actual market conditions.”

While sales were robust on the North Fork, the luxury market did not show the same strength, with prices down and inventory up, but sales below $1 million had the highest market share in the past two years.

The median sales price on the North Fork rose 8.8 percent to $644,500 and the number of sales jumped 25.5 percent to 182. Listing inventory was up for the third straight quarter, but still well below the decade average.

On Long Island, there was a sharp rise in inventory, still the number of sales increased for the second time in three quarters. The median sales price has not declined year-over-year for 25 straight quarters, the report said. The median sales price increased 4.7 percent to $445,000.

It remains to be seen whether these positive trends for Long Island and the North Fork can continue to hold.

The increase in listing inventory may temper the fast pace of the market heading into the fall, says Ann Conroy, president of the Long Island Division, Douglas Elliman. 

“Long Island and the North Fork are two of the strongest markets in the New York metro area right now,” says Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of Miller Samuel and author of the report. “It will be interesting to see if the region overall can maintain its strength going forward.”