The First Full Year Real Estate Stats for 2017 on the East End: Hamptons, North Fork & Shelter Island and a prediction for 2018 
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.
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).
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.
SHELTER ISLAND & SAG HARBOR – worst markets
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). These trends are confirmed by RPR  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. 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. firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. 631 948 0234
 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.
 Data from Suffolk County