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Reports Show Rough First Quarter for Hamptons Real Estate

First quarter activity in the Hamptons home sales market fell in 2013, according to three recently released reports citing rising capital gains taxes and lingering effects from Hurricane Sandy as reasons for the slump.

According to Town and County Real Estate, home sales fell nearly 20 percent in the quarter in the Hamptons, while the median home sale price fell 8 percent to $750,000. The company said many of the sales that hit the books in the first quarter actually originated in the fourth quarter of 2012, when the region was still reeling in the aftermath of Sandy.

Sales in the $1 million to $2 million range fell 15 percent, according to the report, while sales in the $3.5 million to $5 million range dropped nearly 53 percent.

On Town and Country’s report, Bridgehampton sales represented a bright spot, recording a 150 percent jump in sales in the $1 million to $2 million range. Also, Bridgehampton was the only area to record sales in the $5 million to $10 million range.

Meanwhile, a report by Brown Harris Stevens cited a 13 percent drop in average sales price, a decline the company blamed on a rush of fourth quarter buyers who looked to close on their homes before capital gains taxes rose in 2013. The company also saw a 13 percent drop in closings in Hamptons and a 40 percent drop in sales $4 million and above. Like Town and County, Brown Harris Stevens saw a spike in Bridgehampton, where sales above $4 million rose 80 percent.

Lastly, real estate firm Douglas Elliman saw similar drops, citing a 5 percent drop in median sales price, a 29 percent drop in average sales price and a 5 percent drop in listing inventory.

On a positive note, the Elliman report claimed the number of sales in the Hamptons jumped nearly 21 percent.

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