Bidding wars for luxury homes in the Hamptons hit a record high in the second quarter, even as sales and prices declined in the broader market across the Long Island beach towns.
Nearly 31% of luxury deals that closed in the period came after multiple offers, topping the previous high of 27% set a year ago, according to appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and the brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. The category represents the most expensive 10% of transactions, which in the quarter meant any home that sold for $4.4 million or more.
“The majority of it is the lack of inventory,” said Justin Agnello, an East Hampton-based agent at Douglas Elliman who has represented buyers and sellers in several recent bidding wars. “But it’s also that if you do bring something to the market that’s really appealing, buyers are even more hungry for it.”
Across all price ranges, about 21% of purchases were for more than the asking price. One property in that category was 37 Dune Road #C in East Quogue, a five-bedroom oceanfront home built in 2003. It was listed for $3.25 million, and Douglas Elliman agent Enzo Morabito anticipated a $3 million sale. The deal closed at $3.526 million after a four-way bidding war.
Even with tough competition, prices and transaction volume in the Hamptons have been sliding since last year, as rising interest rates and employers’ requirements for in-person work in New York City made the East End less attractive for buyers. As in markets throughout the country, the lack of listings has been constraining purchases.
The median sale price of all Hamptons single-family homes and condos was $1.45 million, a 9.4% decline from the second quarter of 2022. Closings totaled 259, down 41%, Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman said.
Inventory has been a challenge in the Hamptons since the pandemic buying frenzy severely depleted what was on the market. But the number of listings available at the end of the second quarter was up 6.6% from a year earlier to 955, meaning buyers had a bit more to choose from.
Hamptons prices are still sharply higher than they were before the pandemic. The median has soared 71% since the second quarter of 2019, said Miller Samuel President Jonathan Miller.
“That’s an extreme comparison,” he said. “While most housing markets have seen substantial increases because of lack of supply, that’s a big number.”
In the luxury tier, the median sale price in the quarter was just shy of $6.4 million, down 25% from a year earlier but still 6.6% higher than before the pandemic. There were 26 luxury sales, a drop from the 45 notched in last year’s second quarter.
On Long Island’s North Fork, prices have been on an upswing as buyers look for a less expensive alternative to the Hamptons. The median in the quarter was $980,000, up 8.3% from a year earlier and the third-highest on record.