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March 2021: It's the Hottest Softening Hamptons Real Estate Market

hamptons market data Apr 01, 2021

The chart shows the overall market coming to equilibrium, as well as the rollercoaster of the last 12 months.


In true Hamptons style, we’re keeping things hot as they begin to cool off.
 

Comparing 2021 to 2020 is not going to be entirely relevant from here on out due to the impact of Covid-19 on the Hamptons market in 2020.



The median sold price of $1.975M, a +41% improvement year over year is worth noting however, as increased pricing is the highlight of the Q1 2021 Hamptons story.


But the landscape is shifting. March 2021 is the first month since October 2020 that new listings to market outpaced signed contracts. List prices should begin to cool in response if the trend continues.

The median listing discount decreased year over year, but at -3.9% is within the market range of -2 and -4% that has been typical since September 2020.

In March, 41% of closed sales transacted for -10% or more off the property list price while 24% closed at or above the list price.

Comparing March to February 2021, where 32% of closed sales transacted for 10% or more off the property list price while only 13% closed at or above the list price, shows that high pricing is leading to larger discounts whereas pricing within market range will more than likely lead to an over asking price deal.

The number of sold listings increased +24% month over month, catching up to past contract activity and resulting in a staggering +72% improvement over March 2020.

As impressive as March’s sold statistics, contract activity saw a +147% improvement over March 2020, but declined month over month.


The market is cooling off from where it has been, but is still piping hot in several areas and price points, and in terms of overall market pricing.

For example, Southampton had 46 contracts signed but only 38 new listings while East Hampton only had 41 signed contracts, yet 50 properties were new to the market. Keeping an eye on specific areas and price points will be important for sellers and buyers to successfully navigate the shifting market landscape.

Of listings with signed contracts in March, 5.5% were listed in March and 36% were listed in 2021; figures both improved from February, where only 2% of signed contracts made up properties listed in February and 24% of properties with signed contracts were listed in 2021.

It’s taking much less time to sell a well priced and positioned home than it did a year ago, but the lack of adequate sale inventory has caused older listings to attract buyers. Today’s Hamptons buyers have particular properties in mind and, unlike in 2020, they aren’t rushing to bid or overpay for less than ideal listings.

Days on market declined -32% year over year from 302 to 205 days, but increased +17% from 177 days in February.

New listings increased +52% from February and are now within a normal range for new listings to market in a typical real estate cycle.


The median days from listing to contract signed increased slightly from 140 days in February to 146.5 days in March.

The listing supply absorption rate increased month over month to 17%, but the odds of selling declined to 91%, further signaling the Hamptons hot/cold real estate market.

Despite the increase in new listings this March, overall supply dropped -4% from 826 in March to 791 going into April. There’s less to buy and, despite the decrease in odds of selling overall month to month, most areas and price points continue to offer sellers an exceptional opportunity to liquidate their Hamptons homes.


The most widely accepted measure of absorption rate is that 20% or more is considered to be a seller’s market, while 15% or less indicates a buyer’s market.


The disconnect in absorption rate for the Hamptons market overall is, in large part, because overpriced listings make up about 54% of the total Hamptons listing supply. Additionally, the supply level has been on a steady decline so far in 2021, which offsets the sold versus supply levels.

 

  
What you see out there isn’t exactly always available (for a market value sale). As more listings record as sold, keep an eye out for list prices cooling off as properties simultaneously achieve all time high prices.

Absorption rates are misleadingly in the buyer market range. When put all together, even though we’re starting to see some softening, it is still a seller’s market overall.

 

A deeper look at March’s areas and price point trends, which can be found here, reveals the areas and sectors of the market that continue to perform exceptionally well versus those that are softening. With March 2021 tracking well above March 2020, 2019 and 2018, some trends are beginning to decline, yet statistics indicate that the softening is more likely due to inadequate available listing inventory, coupled with less urgent buyers, rather than an overall lessening of buyer demand.

For all of the current market stats, Market Report | March 2021