- The Hamptons saw a strong first quarter with an increase in the median sales price, average sales price, and total number of sales, according to a new report by Douglas Elliman.
- The report also said inventory growth slowed in mid-March as the coronavirus brought most of the industry to a halt.
- Elliman’s senior executive regional manager of sales on Long Island’s South Fork told Business Insider he believed that once people are allowed to show homes again, inventory will start hitting the market again, and sales will climb back up.
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The Hamptons’ housing market had a strong start to the year.
According to a Douglas Elliman market report, the median sales price in the expensive New York communities was up 16.5% to $990,000 in the first quarter of 2020. The number of sales was also up by 15.5% to 343, and the average sales price jumped 25.5% to $2,124,336.
But listings were way down.
Douglas Elliman reported that inventory growth in the Hamptons slowed in mid-March and then went in reverse as the novel coronavirus brought most of the industry to a halt. According to the report, by the end of the first quarter, listing inventory was down 19.9%.
Todd Bourgard, Elliman’s senior executive regional manager of sales on Long Island’s South Fork (which encompasses most of the Hamptons), told Business Insider that the low inventory could be because of a mix of an increase in sales in the first quarter and people waiting to list until homes can be shown in person again.
It’s not just the Hamptons — listings have dropped across the country
According to a report by the Seattle brokerage Redfin, new listings were down nationwide for the last week of March by 36.9% from the same period last year. And as of mid-April, that decline had spiked to nearly 50%. In fact, of the 85 largest US metro areas that Redfin tracks, only three saw a year-over-year increase in active listings: Omaha, Nebraska, at 9.9%, Minneapolis at 5.3%, and El Paso, Texas, at 1.3%.
This is a problem because the period between late March and early April is when listings typically pick up and the spring market kicks into gear, according to Zillow. The Wall Street Journal reported that about 40% of any given year’s sales take place between March and June.
And there’s carnage in some markets. According to Zillow, the markets that have seen the greatest slowdown in new listings since March 1 include Detroit with a 61.8% decrease, Pittsburgh with a 55.5% decrease, and New York with a 49.1% decrease.
Bourgard believes the Hamptons market will pick back up once homes can be shown again
“Of course we’re expecting a little bit of slowdown, especially for April,” Bourgard told Business Insider, adding that he wasn’t quite sure when things would “open up again.”
“Our hope is that as soon as we get the word, and we’re able to show homes again, that the inventory will in fact come back onto the market,” he said.
Bourgard said even now prospective buyers were still showing an interest in properties.
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“We are getting phone call after phone call from buyers that want to come out here and want to see homes,” he said. “So with that need in mind, I truly believe that these homes will be coming back on the market again.”
In addition, Bourgard said he was still busy with virtual deals. People who had previously visited the area to see homes are now making offers, he said.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a dip in volume because new prospective buyers can’t see homes, but Bourgard said he believed that once people are allowed to see homes again, sales will climb back up again.