Preservation Fund Plunged

    Income to East Hampton Town’s community preservation fund plunged almost 22 percent in 2011.
    According to numbers in a report provided by State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. yesterday, revenue from the 2-percent tax on most real estate transactions was $13.86 million last year, compared to $17.72 million in 2010.
    The picture was better in Southampton Town, where income was up by 15 percent over 2010. Elsewhere in the region, Riverhead’s revenue fell by just under 16 percent, Southold’s by 7.5 percent, and Shelter Island’s crumpled by almost 40 percent.
    Over all, preservation fund revenue was an essentially flat $58.85 million in 2011 in the five East End towns. This figure represents a rise of only .1 percent from the $58.78 the towns took in the year before.
    George Simpson of Suffolk Research Service in Hampton Bays also provided statistics this week that reinforced the picture of a steep decline in East Hampton. According to Mr. Simpson’s analysis, the number of single-family houses sold in East Hampton Town in 2011 declined from 562 to 491, representing a more-than 26-percent drop in total sales in dollar terms.
    The median single-family residence price fell by 9.1 percent — to $875,000 — in East Hampton Town, Mr. Simpson said. For the five East End towns the median price was essentially flat and the total sales value dropped 3.8 percent.