Hamptons home sales begin cooling after summer’s frenetic pace

Hamptons home sales begin cooling after summer’s frenetic pace
Home sales in the Hamptons, the ritzy New York getaway for Wall Street titans and Hollywood celebrities, showed beginning signs of cooling off in September after a pandemic-induced boom during the summer months.

Signed contracts to purchase single-family homes rose 76% in September from a year ago as wealthy New Yorkers sought refuge from COVID-19. That’s slower than the 109% annual increase in August and 121% gain in July, according to a report on Friday by Douglas Elliman Real Estate and Miller Samuel, a New York appraiser.

There were declines in signed contracts in the extreme edges of the market last month: homes priced under $500,000 dropped 55% compared with a year earlier and the number of contracts on homes priced over $20 million fell 60%.

Contracts on homes priced $500,000 to $999,000 fell 1.7% from a year ago, compared with an 11% gain from a year earlier in August.

September’s sweet spot was in the $4 million to $4.99 million range, which saw a gain of 240% from a year ago, according to the report. In August, the gain in that price category was 340% from a year earlier.

Homes priced $2 million to $3.99 million in September saw a 213% gain in signed contracts from a year earlier, slower than the 270% gain in August, and contracts for homes priced $10 million to $19.99 million increased 200%, compared with a gain of 150% in August.

New Yorkers began fleeing to less-dense areas when the nation’s most populous city became the center of the COVID-19 pandemic in April, with many opting for vacation homes in getaway spots like the Hamptons, on the eastern tip of Long Island.

New York City has registered 249,000 COVID-19 infections, about 3.5% of the 7.3 million cases in the U.S., and has lost 23,829 people to the disease, 12% of the nation’s 207,791 fatalities, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
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