July 2020 saw the peak of Hamptons COVID real estate market contract activity, while the number of new listings to the market was still climbing to its peak. New inventory was flooding the marketplace as fast as buyers were ready to absorb it.. Homes that were newly constructed or renovated just prior to COVID were performed best, as buyers could envision themselves living in the home, and some could even purchase some or all of the furniture. Plus, everything, or almost everything, people wanted in a Hamptons home was already there.
In July 2021, buying urgency and the level of buying activity declined. However, the overall level of listing supply remained at an all time low, causing pricing to continue to increase in most parts of the market. New construction regained popularity as building projects resumed in late 2020 and 2021, and the spring season rush on land yielded some early new construction offerings for summer 2022.
June 2021 saw an increase in new listings and a small, 3.5% increase in total market listing supply going into July 2021. However, the number of new listings, signed contracts and sold listings all declined from June to July 2021. Overall listing supply subsequently declined .07% from 779 available listings on July 1st to 774 available on August 1st, 2021. The number of contracts signed has been declining since February and the number of new listings, after increasing in June 2021, declined again by 30% month to month to 130 new listings, below normal market trends.
July 2021 showed a strong trend of properties closing for an incremental amount more than the asking price, but the number of days to contract is lengthening as some pricing has begun to hit a plateau, a trend we will be monitoring this August and likely, September. Despite the dip in contract activity for July, when measured on a weekly basis, contract activity actually increased throughout the month after a near standstill on the July 4th holiday week.
The median number of days to contract increased 42% from 71 in June 2021 to 101 in July 2021, still well below normal market trends of between 230-350 days on market. Though the number of contracts signed declined month to month, at 88 contracts signed, July was still about 90% above normal Hamptons buying real estate activity for this time of year.
The number of sales declined from June to July by 18%, from 115 to 94 listings sold. The median sales price of $2.1 million is up 13% from July 2020’s $1.859 million, but has held steady month to month. Homes in the Springs in East Hampton continue to achieve record price tags as do most homes valued in the $1.2 – $2.4 million range. The luxury market has been active.
Though the odds of selling decreased slightly for properties priced $10M+, the number of luxury properties going into contract continues to remain strong as new inventory becomes available. Properties priced between $5-9.999 million have seen a 33% increase in odds of selling from month to month as buyers are now able to envision doing a bit of work to a home.
There are still 91 properties waiting to close that went under contract between December 2020 and the end of April 2021, including 10 in the $10M+ price point. Properties remain in contract for a variety of reasons, from waiting for seller or buyer lifestyle changes to occur to a holdover tenant to move out, or the summer rental season to conclude.
Similarly, many current listings on the market for sale are not really for sale. When calling on a multitude of listings in various price points, a common response was that the seller was reconsidering selling or the home could not be viewed at this time.
Agents and buyers have been anticipatory of new fall inventory, but it may be likely that a good percentage of this fall’s inventory is already listed for sale with a “no showings until September” caveat. Some buyers are choosing to wait, others simply have to.
More on the Hamptons real estate market, including July 2021’s stats, charts and graphs can be found on HamptonsMarketData.com.
Adrianna Nava is a Hamptons real estate market and transaction expert who has her associate broker license with Compass. She is also the founder of HamptonsMarketData.com.