Hampton's real estate market singing the summer time blues

April 17, 2009 3:55:35 PM PDT
The tanking real estate market is being felt all over the country, even in places always thought to be immune from such downturns. In the tri-state area, the vacation spot for the rich and famous, the Hampton's, is feeling the sqeeze, too. In Sagaponack, Long Island, lower end homes in upscale neighborhoods can now be bought for what some would say is a Hampton's steal---between three and 10 million dollars .

In years past, this price range wasn't affected by economic downturns. But now, for the first time in 27 years, the area has been hit hard by the troubles on Wall Street.

"We all felt we were iron clad proof there was no way the Hamptons or big financial institutions would go under, " said Susan McGraw with Keber Town & Country Real Estate.

This year in 11 eastern Long Island towns, only 96 homes have sold between January and March. In the same quarter last year, 287 homes sold. That's a difference of 191 houses, making it the biggest drop in sales in 3 decades .

"The worst was in Southampton Village. It had a sale volume drop of over 90 percent which was enormous for Southampton Village." says Judy Desiderio with Town & Country Real Estate.

But experts say while the numbers are staggering, it's believed the gloom and doom is temporary. They say lulls in activity in this market can usually be traced to emotion.

"When you have a shock like what happened with the banking industry people just sit on their hands until they realize the world isn't going to crack right open and suck them all in," says Judy Desiderio.

But while big spenders are taking a time out, something has changed -- the median sales price which has dropped about 28 percent from last year. And that's creating an opportunity for people who might now be ready to get in the market for unprecedented deals.

"There was a home that was 8 and a half million and it sold for 4," says Susan McGraw.

While realtors are doing their best to make up for a tough winter, they're also hoping to turn for sale signs into sold signs and stop the depressed state that they say has trickled its way into a place that had always been one of the most coveted places to live.

Web produced by Maura Sweeney


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

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