The South Fork
Market conditions steadied on the South Fork. After four consecutive quarters with year-over-year declines, reported closed sales increased 3%. Overall price statistics remained nearly unchanged, with the average only down 1% and the median essentially unchanged.
For most villages and hamlets, shifts in the number of sales were relatively minor. Sales dropped in six of thirteen areas; although the nominal change in each area versus Fourth Quarter 2018 was in the single-digits. On a percentage basis, the largest decline was in Quogue Village/Quogue at 47%. Of the areas that saw more sales this quarter, two had outsize increases that drove the overall South Fork increase. Shelter Island more than doubled in sales, going from 10 reported in Fourth Quarter 2018 to 22 this year, and East Hampton had 18 more sales this quarter than last year, a 21% growth, making it the highest-selling area.
While overall South Fork price statistics were essentially flat, two areas had noticeably large gains. Sag Harbor/North Haven had the biggest increase in price statistics with average price up 31% and median price up 41%, due to the dual effects of more sales over $5M and fewer under $1M. Montauk’s increases were 28% for average price and 34% for median price. A beachfront home sold for over $15M in Montauk, spiking the average price, while fewer sales under $1M this quarter caused the median to rise. The largest drop in average and median price statistics was in Southampton Village, where there were more deals over $5M in Fourth Quarter 2018 than this quarter.
East of the canal on the South Fork the core of the market expanded its market share while the high and low-ends declined. The $2M to $3M price range grew the most, with a 3% greater market share. $1M to $2M and $500k to $1M both had 2% more market share. On the other hand, reported sales under $500k declined causing that price category’s market share to fall from 7% to 4%. The $3M to $5M and over $5M categories both claimed 9% market share, a lower market share by 1% and 2%, respectively.
West of the canal, the most significant change was an increase in $2M to $3M sales, driving market share up to 6% from 2%. The price ranges on either side of this category lost market share: $1M to $2M dropped by 4% and $3M to $5M dropped by 2%. There were no closed sales reported over $5M in Fourth Quarter 2019.
The North Fork
A notable 15% uptick in reported closed sales was a positive sign on the North Fork. Sales increased for only the second time in six quarters and were at their highest figure in two years. The increase in sales was mainly in lower price points, causing average and median price statistics to fall by double digits.
By area, only Aquebogue/Jamesport and Greenport had an increase in sales versus Fourth Quarter 2018. Both increases were significant: 150% in Aquebogue/Jamesport and 79% in Greenport. The other three areas all had fewer sales versus last year.
In terms of pricing, only the two areas noted above with more sales showed an increase in both average and median price. Aquebogue/Jamesport had the largest change, with a 21% increase in average price and a 34% increase in median price. There was a noticeable uptick in sales over $500k, including two reported over $1M, in Fourth Quarter 2019. The three areas that had fewer sales also had mostly lower price statistics, with East Marion/Orient down most. The 42% drop in average price and 24% drop in median price was caused by sales over $600k dropping in half.
The middle to lower price points were stronger on the North Fork. $350k to $500k increased in market share from 23% to 30%. Also seeing a big jump in sales was the $500k to $750k price range, which rose from 29% to 35% of the market. In turn, the lowest end of the market, sales under $350k, saw market share fall in half. $750k to $1M had less market share as did the very top end of the market over $1.5M.