Hamptons real estate sales slowing down

After a record breaking number of home sales in the Hamptons in 2014, things are beginning to cool down in the luxury real estate destination.

Both sales and median prices of Hamptons real estate are down in 2015 from where they were last year, according to a report by Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

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The median sales price for a home in the Hamptons declined 6.5 percent to $849,000 compared to 2014, according to the report. The number of homes that were sold fell 15.7 percent to 590 this year, down from 700 sales at this time last year. However, average home price rose 2.5 percent year over year.

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The conflicting data are a result of a reaction in the market from last year's sales, said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers, who authored the report.

Last year saw an explosion of pent-up demand as people began to consider real estate again for the first time since the housing crisis, Miller said. That demand resulted in 700 sales, a record number.

"That demand has mostly been absorbed, so what we have now is the prices showing mixed trends, but sales are down," he said. "There isn't the same sense of urgency by buyers that there was a year ago, but there is still above-average activity occurring. It's just not at the breakneck pace it was last year."

The current market in the Hamptons is just returning to normal, the CEO of Douglas Elliman, Dottie Herman, said. While sales aren't record breaking, they are still healthy.

She also noted that in a small market like the Hamptons, big outliers can move data.

For the fabulously wealthy, a Hamptons property is soon to hit the market at $95 million, according to real estate agents at Sotheby's. The estate, known as Burnt Point, is an 18,000-square-foot shingle traditional built on 25 acres with water on three sides. The home is being sold by the Stewart J. Rahr Foundation, and the proceeds will continue to fund the foundation's philanthropic efforts.

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In the quarter-over-quarter data, values saw a decline from the beginning of the year, although Miller said that because the Hamptons are generally a second-home market, and highly affected by seasonal variations, quarter-over-quarter data does not paint the full picture.

The average price tag for a home in the Hamptons dropped 10.4 percent from the first quarter of 2015, down to just under $1.6 million. Luxury homes, calculated as the top 10 percent of sales, saw an even larger dip. The average sales price fell 14.2 percent, from about $7.9 million in the first quarter, to $6.8 million in the second.