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Hamptons Real Estate Sales Dropped
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Friday, 04 August 2006

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The market is cooling as mortgage rates climb in New York's hottest summer spot for investment bankers and big stars. Reports show that home sales in the Hamptons dropped 18 percent. This is a sign of the end of a five-year boom. The drop is comparable to the 4.3 percent slide nationwide.

Judi Desiderio, owner of Town & Country Real Estate in East Hampton, said that even for wealthy Hamptons buyers who typically spurn mortgages and pay cash for their waterfront mansions, highest interest rates in four years are sapping confidence in real estate.

Paul Brennan, regional manager in the Hamptons for Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate, said that many are now concerned that house prices will fall as demand wanes. Bonus money had improved Hampton’s real estate prices since 2001 because people saw property as a safer investment than equities.

More than doubling from $499,194 in 2001, average prices for a Hampton’s home broke $1 million for the first time in 2005. The average price earned 23 percent in the first six months of 2005 and 38 percent in 2004's first half. According to Suffolk Research, prices last fell in 1998.

The average U.S. rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage is 6.6 percent, up from 5.8 percent a year ago, according to Freddie Mac, the No. 2 U.S. mortgage buyer. Waterfront Mansions

Meanwhile, the prices in the Hamptons dwarf those paid by most homebuyers in the U.S. $45 Million Estate. In Southampton, where the average price was $1.55 million in the first six months of 2006, Edgar Bronfman Jr., chief executive officer of Warner Music Group, in January paid $31 million for a Bridgehampton estate and an adjacent lot owned by coffee importer Rainer Schoenbach. Chairman Terry Semel paid $43 million for the East Hampton estate of Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of U.S. buyout firm Blackstone Group LP.

Riverhead had the biggest gain of the five-town Hamptons area, rising 24 percent to $418,700. This is baed on median prices. Shelter Island had a 15 percent increase to a $940,000 median price and Southold grew 12 percent to $525,000.

By M. Sese
http://realestatepress.org

 
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