2017 Real Estate in the Hamptons, North Fork & Shelter Island – what will 2018 bring?

The First Full Year Real Estate Stats for 2017 on the East End: Hamptons, North Fork & Shelter Island and a prediction for 2018 [1]


Doomsayers at the beginning of 2016 had it all wrong. The Hamptons according to Judi Desiderio’s Town and Country third quarter reports, based on actual Suffolk County public records of closings, was doing well, although plagued by a lackluster market in $20 Million plus range. Brokers still report lack of listings, not able and willing buyers.

2017 Blog

NORTH FORK: Fewer transactions, but still a 2% dollar volume gain.

Again, an all-time record in dollar volume of contracts to purchase residential real estate on the North Fork was reached in 2017: $363.6 Million. But there were fewer transactions compared to 2016: 448 vs. 481. 82 contracts were over $1 Million, vs. 70 in 2016. Median price rose 6.5% to $605,104 as of 12/31/2017. MLS showed 228 available listings on MLS today, 12/31/2017 (high in 2016 545 listings).

2007 $240,284,400.00
2008 $171,703,533.00
2009 $158,058,998.00
2010 $195,045,015.00
2011 $186,774,187.00
2012 $183,713,875.00
2013 $264,490,844.00
2014 $296,752,955.00
2015 $354,596,212.00
2016 $356,420,764.00
2017 $363,633,214.00

12312017 Competitive Price Ranges North Fork

For the past 2 years record sales have chopped away tremendously at available inventory; it appears that the bottom inventory of approximately 225 houses on the market has been reached and inventory stopped dropping. As matter of fact, days on market (DOM0 rose in December from 54 to 98, confirming a trend set by October (112 DOM) and November, 2017 (102).



North Fork Competitive Price Ranges: higher end risks overpricing?

In 2017 448 listings sold, year-end inventory was 228 listings on the market. In the different price ranges, it shows most transactions took place in the 400-600K price range.

In general, on the North Fork, we see larger percentages of listings in lower price ranges selling, lower percentages in the higher price ranges. This may indicate that at the higher end, spiking at the range just below a million, homes have been overpriced, and buyers are hesitant. In other words, the market bears higher pricing at the lower end, and is less tolerant of higher pricing at the higher end.

These statistics may help sellers find the sweet spot in the market for their property.


The first three quarters on Shelter Island and in Sag Harbor did not share in the record breaking real estate activity on the North Fork, or in the brisk activity in the Hamptons (most notably in Bridgehampton and Westhampton Beach).

In Sag Harbor, first three quarters of 2017, 41 sales produced $91.3 Million (down from 49 sales and $95 Million in 2016) and in Shelter 29 sales produced $35.7 Million (down drastically from 48 in 2016 and $$60.6 Million).[2] These trends are confirmed by RPR[3] [4] for the rest of 2017.

What will 2018 bring?

It appears that inventory has stabilized and stopped dropping in the East End, in all markets, the Hamptons, the North Fork and Shelter Island.

Median Prices have continued to rise in 2017, in all markets. NAR has published a report on the possible consequences of the new Tax Laws.[5] The impact of new tax regulation on housing in New York and the East End specifically, remains to be seen. The East End remains a mostly second home market; people want to be here.

It is clear that the lack of available inventory will restrain top line for most brokers. Limited inventory will increase competitive pressures among brokers and agents. But when inventory is scarce, brokers need to increase the level of their cooperation. Sellers and buyers rely on brokers to service their needs professionally and effectively. Counter intuitively, economic pressures on brokers to refrain from cooperation increase. Any lack of cooperation among brokers and agents intensifies the consumer’s trouble in finding the right property, and obscures available inventory, exacerbating the problem. Brokers who work well with other brokers will see their business increase, because they provide the consumer with what they most need; an efficient transaction. Consumers have information at their fingertips, and will not react well to brokers who do not cooperate with other brokers.

For home buyers, the stabilization of levels of inventory is good news. Pricing has gone up, but modestly. Real Estate remains a attractive investment, especially in light of a need to diversify from high priced equity markets. Bonuses, driver of Hamptons sales, will be better than they have been in years because of less regulation.

All indications are that 2018 can be a banner year, building on the first real economic recovery after the recession of 2007.

Joan Bischoff van Heemskerck, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker

President, HANFRA 

Town and Country Real Estate, Executive Sales Director North Fork & Shelter Island.


Tel. 631 948 0234

[1] Data from MLSLI. (Contracts signed for all North Fork hamlets east of Rte 105, Riverhead, Southold & Greenport.) “Contracts Signed” provides an immediate snapshot of the Real Estate market activity.

[2] Data from Suffolk County

[3] http://www.narrpr.com/neighborhoods/ny/shelter-island/11964/53666828-summary.aspx

[4] http://www.narrpr.com/neighborhoods/ny/sag-harbor/11963/53664485-summary.aspx

[5] https://www.nar.realtor/tax-reform



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Strongest First Quarter Sales in a Decade

The New York State Association of Realtors announced its NYSAR first quarter report 2016 on Real Estate activity in the state, and it was excellent news!

“Three consecutive months of sales growth fueled the best start to the New York State housing market since 2007. According to NYSAR, the 23,932 closed sales in the first quarter represents a jump of nearly 17 percent from the 2015 first quarter. Additionally, the statewide median sales price grew by nearly 1 percent compared to a year ago.”

U.S. Commerce Department: Northeast housing starts jump more than 60 percent in March: The United States Department of Housing and HUD released its March report on April 19 with more good news.

  • Privately-owned housing starts in March rose 61.3 percent for the Northeast to 121,000, according to data released by the U.S. Commerce Department. February’s total was 75,000.
  • Nationally, housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,089,000, an 8.8 percent decrease from the revised February total of 1,194,000.
  • Building permits for the Northeast fell 17.9 percent in March, dropping to 101,000 from 123,000 in February. Nationally, building permits fell 7.7 percent to 1,086,000.

Looks like the market’s heating up: agents better brush up on their handling of multiple offers. The National Association of Realtors put out a field guide on multiple offers with clear information on how to prepare buyers and sellers for a scenario of multiple offers. It summarizes:“Buyers and sellers need to appreciate that in multiple offer situations only one offer will result in a sale, and the other buyers will often be disappointed their offers were not accepted. While little can be done to assuage that disappointment, fair and honest treatment throughout the offer and negotiation process, coupled with prompt, ongoing and open communication, can enhance the chances that all buyers – successful or not – will feel they were treated fairly and honestly.”

Joan Bischoff van Heemskerck, Lic. Associate Broker, Executive Sales Manager North Fork & Shelter Island for Town and Country Real Estate, 2016 President, Hamptons and North Fork realtors Association (cell 631 948 0234; jbischoff@1townandcountry.com).



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The latest May 2015 Stats on the Real Estate Market – Making sense of National, Regional and local data.

The US Real Estate Market – Nationally – good news!

“Fueled partly by an increase in the share of sales to first-time buyers, existing-home sales increased in May to their highest pace in nearly six years”, according to the National Association of Realtors®. “Led by the Northeast, all major regions experienced sales increases in May” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

This article in RIS Media explores the importance of Millennial buyers in this Real Estate Market.

Good news: May home sales rebounded strongly following April’s decline and are now at their highest pace since November 2009 (5.44 million). “Solid sales gains were seen throughout the country in May as more homeowners listed their home for sale and therefore provided greater choices for buyers,” he said. “However, overall supply still remains tight, homes are selling fast and price growth in many markets continues to teeter at or near double-digit appreciation. Without solid gains in new home construction, prices will likely stay elevated — even with higher mortgage rates above 4 percent.”

On a national level, in other words, absence of newly built housing accounts for much of the low inventory, and Mr. Yun continued: “Total housing inventory2 at the end of May increased 3.2 percent to 2.29 million existing homes available for sale, and is 1.8 percent higher than a year ago (2.25 million). Unsold inventory is at a 5.1-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 5.2 months in April”.

NAR reported that The median existing-home price for all housing types in May was $228,700, which is 7.9 percent above May 2014. This marks the 39th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains.

The percent share of first-time buyers rose to 32 percent in May, up from 30 percent in April and matching the highest share since September 2012. A year ago, first-time buyers represented 27 percent of all buyers.

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage climbed in May to 3.84 percent from 3.67 percent in April but remained below 4.00 percent for the sixth straight month.

With demand continuing to far exceed supply, properties typically stayed on the market (DOM) for 40 days in May, up from April (39 days) but the third shortest time since NAR began tracking in May 2011. Short sales were on the market the longest at a median of 131 days in May, while foreclosures sold in 56 days and non-distressed homes took 38 days. Forty-five percent of homes sold in May were on the market for less than a month.

All-cash sales were 24 percent of transactions in May for the third straight month and are down considerably from a year ago (32 percent). Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 14 percent of homes in May, unchanged from last month and down from 16 percent in May 2014. Sixty-seven percent of investors paid cash in May.

Distressed sales — foreclosures and short sales — remained at 10 percent for the third consecutive month in May and are below the 11 percent share a year ago. Seven percent of May sales were foreclosures and 3 percent were short sales. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 15 percent below market value in May (20 percent in April), while short sales were also discounted 16 percent (14 percent in April).

Regional Breakdown

May existing-home sales in the Northeast jumped 11.3 percent to an annual rate of 690,000, and are now 11.3 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $269,000, which is 4.8 percent higher than May 2014. Again great news from NAR.

The New York State Association of Realtors® published the latest skinny market report video and more  data in a PDF on New York State and Suffolk County Real estate data.  Take away: the NY market is stable, doing especially well in the high end and luxury end of the market.

Million Dollar Listing (Bravo)  mentioned that even in Los Angeles the luxury market is driven by NY City buyers –whose success comes  mostly in  finance ( bankers hedge fund) and Entertainment . New York City in many upper end markets is booming! Of course – this is of a major consequence to the East End markets – and it is good news. If New York City does well – typically the East End does well.

But  All Real Estate is Really Local

While the National and regional good news translates into a much better Real Estate Market on the East End than after the 2007 recession, it is important to distinguish the Local Market date from the National data to get a useful idea of what and how the Real Estate Market is doing on the East End, in the Hamptons and on the North Fork & Shelter Island.

The Hamptons is traditionally very well known as the playground of the rich and famous, tied to Manhattan New York City and also internationally buyers and sellers.  The North Fork is increasingly grabbing attention as a popular Farm to Table life style and vineyard region, with increasing buyer demand. While each market behaves intrinsically different, the entire East End behaves more and more as one market with the characteristics of a Resort and Second Home market.  Mostly a “want to buy” rather than a “I have to buy” market.

In such markets, different than National and other regional markets, distressed Real Estate (Short Sales and Foreclosures) plays a much smaller role, even more so East of Riverhead than West.

One of the most important characteristics of the East End market is its seasonality.  Harsh winters can slow certain months down, and create pent up spike demand later. Being able to use the new home in summer stresses the importance of closing before July, creating a spike just before in March-May, and then again as lots of people are out during the summer, with lots of closings 2-3 months later.

Exact listing data on the exact number of the Hamptons listings are harder to come by. Judi Desiderio’s East End Market reports

A few companies report on market data. Judi Desiderio (Town and Country Real Estate CEO) so publishes a authoritative quarterly market report for the Hamptons, Shelter Island and North Fork providing clear data and analysis. 2014 year end reports for the Hamptons and North Fork show a robust recovery while first quarter reports for the Hamptons and North Fork reflect seasonality. Such reports show another important difference with national and other regional markets: a median sale of $950K+ in the Hamptons – creating very different market dynamics than lower priced markets. Such higher median prices typically cause listings to take longer to sell than national averages, as mentioned before.

So too on the North Fork:  a very different RE market. It is of crucial importance to know how to read national and regional Real Estate data into the local market conditions.

The North Fork today –contrary to what you typically read- has normal levels of inventory, not much lower than normal. The MLS (which is not as important in the Hamptons) shows around 450-475 listings on the North Fork (seasonally low in winter around 375, highest I saw in 2009 at 520). Agents perception of their own listings, however, with more competing  agents joining their ranks as the economy is improving, maybe misleading and allude to a really non-existing scarcity of available homes for sale and may lead to incorrect pricing of homes. While DOM (Days on Market) improved drastically to 90-120 days for the North Fork – this number is still much higher than national averages.

The East End RE market so behaves very differently from the National and even regional New York State and even Suffolk County markets in some important respects.

When looking at the North Fork markets specifically, it is interesting to watch how different price segments behave – and similar differences in the different price ranges can be observed in Judi Desiderio’s market reports.

Based on Contract signed in 2015 (data from MLSLI in selected North Fork hamlets and towns)– this is a first publication of my findings for this year – to date:

This graph shows how vastly differently stats for homes in different price ranges behave.

This is what a Realtor ® Pro can do for any consumer buying or selling Real Estate in the East End: make sense of national and regional RE data – and apply them locally – and to a specific buyer’s or seller’s property. An agent properly chosen can help any buyer or seller with reasonable expectations based on facts, and provide an accurate picture of national, regional and local statistics on the Real Estate market. The right agent can analyze all these data based on his or her knowledge, experience, hard work and become a valuable resource for anyone involved in the Real Estate market.

Depending on the different characteristic of a home, or a buyer or seller, the perfect choice for the Realtor ®  to be chosen may so vary. So call any of the agents at Town and Country ReaL Estate to make sense of national, regional and local RE statistics – and price your home right for the market, limit guessing about your expectations, but rather make educated decisions and create the elements for a successful transaction.

Joan Bischoff van Heemskerck,

NY State Lic.Associate RE Broker

Executive Sales Director, Town And Country North Fork & Shelter Island

President Elect Hamptons and North Fork Realtors ®  Association

Mobile: 631 948 0234   jbischoff@townandcountryhamptons.com

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HERMIONE visits Greenport July 4th 2015 – brought Marquis de Lafayette to George Washington

Southold celebrates its 375th anniversary

Southold 375

Southold Town – New York’s oldest English speaking settlement in the New World- is celebrating its 375th birthday this year – and it is only befitting that this year the Hermione, the ship that was boarded on March 10, 1780 by Marquis de Lafayette to be reunited with George Washington, will visit the Port of Greenport this 2015 July Fourth weekend during its Tall Ships Festival 2015. Greenport’s charm will be the backdrop for this momentous event – it will be a great time for some VIP spotting – in any of Greenport’s famous restaurants and bars… and sip some local wines while enjoying some of the North Fork’s tremendous seafood bounty and fresh locally grown produce.


Lafayette’s Hermione

Call any of Town and Country’s Realtors ™ – if you want to know what’s going on – where to stay and what to do – 631 765 0500 or 631 298 0600

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87 Acre Farm Vineyard with 859 Ft on the Long Island Sound

Once in a Lifetime

slide787 acre North Fork farm and vineyard with 859 waterfront feet on the Long Island Sound. Half of acreage planted in mature vines producing top quality pinot noir, merlot and chardonnay grapes.  Development rights completely intact allowing for family compound, estate farm lots or your own personal design. Cottage and large double potato barn with climate control for storage of wines, rootstock, etc. Potential retail tasting room site.

Sold February 2015
Last Asking Price: $8,500,000
87 Acres
3+ Car Garage

Listing and Selling Broker
Nicholas Planamento/Joan Bischoff van Heemskerck
Town and Country Real Estate
Lic. Assoc. R.E. Broker
Cell: 631.948.0143 NPlanamento@1townandcountry.com

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Taste North Fork 2014

If you are thinking about Real Estate on the North Fork: a great way to meet your neighbors:

TASTE NORTH FORK 2014 – let’s start the season off right – Meet the Farmers, wine-makers, innkeepers, and chefs who make the North Fork tick! This Saturday in Greenport at the NFPC Tourist Information Center! www.tastenorthfork.org

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This coming Weekend – Veterans Day Weekend – November 8 and 9- the North Fork is the place to be for anyone who loves local farm’s produce, food and wine!

All local businesses, vineyards, restaurants and fisheries are putting their best foot forward in a first regional Harvest Festival, TASTE NORTH FORK!

We all know as locals that the East End and the North Fork are the pearl in the oyster of New York Tourism  and that fall is among the best times here: so this regional harvest festival is a wonderful time to come out.

Visit www.tastenorthfork.org for details on this wonderful weekend – and hop on the busses which are looping around the North Fork between Riverhead to Orient with activities at lots of vineyard stops and at the two major hubs on Love Lane in Mattituck and in Greenport with – among other fun – a chance to meet the local farmers and sample their best produce.

Or click here for a program of what’s going on.

Don’t forget to thank the volunteers of the NFPC, the Greenport BID, the North Fork & Mattituck Chambers of Commerce  and the Town of Southold’s EDC for making this terrific festival possible! (And of course EETA, LIWC and Empire State Development Corp).

For more information email gene.gluck@northfork.org

Joan Bischoff van Heemskerck, NFPC President

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