Real Estate News

Numbers Don’t Lie: Third Quarter’s A Dud

Oh, you doom and gloomers! Things aren’t that bad. In other words, you can keep the Mercedes G Wagon — no need to downsize just yet.

What we do know, thanks to the third quarter Douglas Elliman Report, is that the Hamptons real estate market took a little respite when compared to the previous quarter. And the author, Miller Samuel Inc., has noted temporary pauses like this many times followed by a hefty quarter that had agents drinking all things bubbly.

According to Jonathan Miller, the CEO of Miller Samuel, the average sales price dipped 6.4 percent to $1.78 million compared to $1.89 million in the second quarter. But it was only $1.68 million in the third quarter of 2017. If one wanted to extrapolate the numbers, we could surmise third quarter sales are historically low because they represent closings that actually took place during the winter, when it is too gray and cold around here to write a seven-digit check.

Third quarter sales tend to rebound because of year-end activity, either tax-related of just Sugar Daddy buying a pied a terre. The median sales price usually mirrors the average sales price. It, too, was down slightly in the third quarter at $965,000 — by one percent ($975,000), but still a comfy 8.4 percent above the comparable quarter in 2017, $890,000.

However, there is some cause for concern. The number of sales closed was down 25.5 percent to 448, so a few more quarters like that and we’ll all be buying VWs. There were 601 properties that changed hands in the second quarter of 2018, up by 13.3 percent from the second quarter in 2017.

Days on market (from last list date), 123, are decreasing down from 148; that can be construed to mean the gap between buyer (offering price) and seller (asking price) is getting closer to (Nirvana) selling price.

Similarly, the listing discount (from last list price) is 10.9 percent, up from 9.5 percent. It should be noted it was 11.6 percent in 2017.

There were 1453 properties on the market as of the end of the third quarter, up 4.7 percent from a quarter earlier (1388) and about the same as the third quarter in 2018 (1466).

Year to date comparisons with 2017 indicate that we are where we should be, that there is a Divine Spark within each of us that is located in the heart chakra. Put another way, the average sale price is up 5.9. percent, and the median is up 1.8 percent.

But dark skies may beckon if sales don’t increase. So far this year, it’s 1490, down 11.2 percent from 1678.

rmurphy@indyeastend.com