Third Quarter: Up or Down?

    Prudential Douglas Elliman, Corcoran, and Brown Harris Stevens, three of the brokers on the East End, have released their third-quarter reports for real estate sales in the area.
    According to Prudential, the number of sales is up sharply over the same period last year, although prices slipped from last year’s results, as did listing inventory.
    Prudential’s results looked at all of Long Island, where the median luxury sales price fell 8.7 percent over the prior year’s quarter. Median sales prices on the South Shore of Suffolk County increased 1 percent, however, and the number of sales there jumped an impressive 39 percent from the same period last year.
    Brown Harris Stevens, which deals with high-end sales on the South Fork, reported that median sales prices rose 20 percent over last year’s numbers, with a median sales price of $905,000 and a residential sales price average of $1.8 million.
    A major factor was a 45-percent increase in sales of houses priced at $2.5 million or more in 2011. Cia Comnas, the executive managing director of Brown Harris Stevens, said in a release, “Our report reflects 250 reported single-family home sales in the third quarter, 6 percent more than a year ago.”
    The firm also reported activity falling at the lower end: Sales of properties under $1 million were down to 57 percent of all sales, compared to 67 percent last year.
    In Amagansett, the median price rose 24 percent, with sales of properties of $1 million or more accounting for 46 percent of the transactions.
    The median price for houses in Bridgehampton rose 81 percent over what the company calls “an abnormally low level a year ago.”
    East Hampton’s median price rose 31 percent to $850,000.
    In a statement, Corcoran said that “due to an increase of sales at the high end of the market, residential real estate in the Hamptons saw overall pricing increase from a year ago.”
    According to Corcoran’s numbers, the average price increased 12 percent to $1.6 million, while the median price increased 13 percent to $879,000. The number of marketwide transactions was down slightly, but in terms of dollars, sales volume was on par with last year’s, to the tune of $659 million.
    For Corcoran, the most noticeable change in activity occurred in Bridgehampton and Sagaponack, where the number of sales increased 57 percent and sales volume increased 122 percent from a year ago, to $144 million.
    On the other hand, George Simpson, president of Suffolk Research Service, which tracks the real estate market on the East End, released a statement on “discouraging results over previous quarters and over the previous year.”
    Mr. Simpson said third-quarter dollar sales and unit sales — two of the three real estate market indicators — were down compared to sales for the same period in 2010. The median price did not change.
    In East Hampton Town, the median was up compared to last year’s number, but dollar sales over all dropped 35 percent. The median price for single-family homes in Southampton Town was higher than in East Hampton — $790,000 compared to $750,000.


Bridget- So here's my question for you: Which of the 4 firms above does not have a vested interest in the public thinking that the real estate business is "fabulous" and that the consumer "better jump in before it's too late!" Correct, Suffolk Research. Yes, he's a kook, but his data is more reliable than ANY of the Brokerages. The difference is, that Suffolk Research is a Data based Market Report and the firms are releasing a MARKETING based Market Report. Data speaks the real numbers. Marketing speaks the "good stuff". There is another Data based marketing report out there that also shows that the number of sales and the total volume of sales are down from 2010, but "HEY, There's Never been a better time to buy, right?" Until the greedy real estate brokers on the South Fork of the East End of Long Island agree to employ a reliable listing system that produces untouched, unmanipulated data that can be taken seriously, there is little reason to read the Marketing Reports put out by the brokerages, except for entertainment value. It will take the consumer to force them to do that...lets try Occupy South Fork Real Estate, shall we?
I cannot agree with AnonymousOne more. Too many biased reports that say now is a "Great time to buy". Home prices are dropping because the average family cannot afford the average priced home without rediculous financing. In 2006 it was "home prices never go down", in 2007 is was, "Home prices NEVER go down nationanally". Now in 2011 its, "Rates are low, prices have dropped, great time to buy". When home prices get down to 3 times household incomes, that's when I will buy. The median houshold income in Suffolk County is 85,000 and dropping, which means the median home price should be about $250,000, not $400,000. It's not a great time to buy. I will continune to wait.