A Wave of Luxury Sales Buoys Hamptons Property Market

By Josh Barbanel Features Dow Jones Newswires

The luxury market in the Hamptons regained some of its faded luster in the second quarter, following an extended period of weak sales, market reports show.

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There were 12 sales above $10 million in the quarter, compared with four in the same period in 2016, according to brokerage Brown Harris Stevens.

Four sales recorded in the quarter topped $20 million, including an oceanfront former carriage house on the ocean in Southampton that changed hands for $31 million in May. In the second quarter last year two sales topped $20 million.

"We are seeing more sales at the upper end of the market, something that was lacking last year," said Scott Durkin, chief operating officer at Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

In the overall market, the number of sales rose to their highest level in two years, according to appraiser Jonathan Miller, who prepared a market report for Douglas Elliman.

Sales were up 23% in the second quarter compared with the same quarter last year, he said. The median sales price was up 5.6% to $1.03 million.

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The pickup in luxury sales fueled a 13% jump in average price, to $1.9 million. Listing inventory fell slightly.

While luxury sales were up, they were still constrained by "insanely high" asking prices, said Beate Moore, a broker at Sotheby's International Realty who had listed the $31 million oceanfront house at 328 Gin Lane. "It is far from a booming market," she said.

The house had been on the market since November 2014, when it was listed for $39.5 million. It once had been a carriage house for a mansion that had long since burned down, she said.

The asking price was cut to $32 million last fall. But in the end, the listing triggered a bidding war this spring. The sellers agreed to accept an offer of $28 million but backed out after a second buyer offered $3 million more, Ms. Moore said.

Write to Josh Barbanel at josh.barbanel@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 27, 2017 00:14 ET (04:14 GMT)