Market Update: Tone Setting Deals Are Being Made in Hamptons Real Estate

New to the market, 148 Redwood Road in Sag Harbor is listed with Mala Sander of The Corcoran Group for $5.995M; it’s land-lot neighbor with water views just sold off-market for $4.8M.
Courtesy of Corcoran

As the number of Hamptons home sales catches up to past contract activity, new listings to market and the number of listings with signed contracts continued their steep declines to start off the 2021 spring selling season.

However, despite the decline, the number of sales for March is on track to be at least 22% greater than March of 2020 which, despite shutdowns, was an improvement over March of 2019 and 2018. The real impact on home sales in the Hamptons was not felt, statistically speaking, until April 2020 due to time from contract signing to the closing table.

Last week, the percentage of listings achieving signed contracts within 180 days of coming on the market was 50%, but this metric has also been in steady decline over the last four weeks. Days to contract declined 7% week over week from 148 to 137 days. They have, however, increased 47% since the first week of March, which had a median 93 days to contract. There is simply very little to buy so buyers are revisiting, and bidding on, properties that have been on the market. It’s a good time to improve the asking price if a listing has been on the market for more than 160 days because the buyers are still there.

Unlike the market overall, new listings have kept pace with buyer activity in the $10M market and this portion of the market is benefiting as a result. The property at 45 Town Line Road in Wainscott with a list price of $11.2M went into contract last week with Beate Moore of Sotheby’s International Realty. Last trading in 2012 for $6.85M, it had been renovated in 2013, and went into contract in just 34 days.

This is the fourth property over $10M to go into contract in the last four weeks, while seven new listings have come onto the market. Fifty seven percent is a high rate of demand for this price point. Many sellers transacting in this bracket are negotiating. Last week, 51 Sandpiper Lane in Bridgehampton closed -16% off it’s $24M asking price for $21M.

Some interesting deals are being made in all parts of the market that will reset the overall market tone. In Sag Harbor, 155 Redwood Road, a vacant lot with water views, represented by Christian Lipp and Scott Strough of Compass, sold off market for $4.8M, while it’s new construction waterfront neighbor at 148 Redwood Road, on a slightly smaller parcel, came on the market listed with Mala Sander of Corcoran, for $5.995M. Sander also brought the buyer for 155 Redwood.

“After seeing many homes that weren’t quite right for them… we utilized our professional network… to identify this property as a location to build their custom dream home,” Sander shared on her Instagram feed.

There are many agents reporting off market trades in all price points. When agents work with committed buyers, they are sometimes able to leverage one another to bring opportunities to their clients that cannot be found anywhere else. When surveying agents who have transacted off market deals, one famous saying kept arising: “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” meaning it is better to be content with what you have than to risk losing everything by seeking more. In this sellers market, sellers can feel confident they are getting what their property is worth without having to come on the market and buyers are interested in these opportunities because, more than likely, they’re not battling with 10 other parties to secure the property.

The property at 49 Sherwood Lane in East Hampton, an approximately 750-square-foot, two-bedroom and one bathroom cottage with a pool on .43 acres had been gut renovated and closed for $876,050. While 106 Norfolk Drive, also .43 acres, but featuring a home that most people would likely rebuild and without a pool, closed for $805K. To gain some perspective on the significance of these prices, one tree covered .43 acre lot in this neighborhood sold on August 5th, 2020 for $375K. Appraisers are going to need a vacation.

Adrianna Nava, founder and president of Hamptons Market Data, is a real estate investment strategist who specializes in The Hamptons real estate market. To read her previous column, click here.