Even though Q4 of 2016 brought a 3.8 percent decrease in the median sales price of Long Island homes and 4.2 percent decrease in average sales price (from $491,070 in Q3 to $470,605 in Q4), the number of sales from Q3 to Q4 was down 16.2 percent - from 8,362 to 7,008, according to the 4Q Elliman Report. Houses were also on the market 6.9 percent longer, from 87 days in Q3 to 93 days in Q4.
However, year over year, both the average sales price and median sales price slightly increased. In 2015, the average sales price was $452,629 in Q4, while in 2016 it $470,605 in Q4. The median sales price came in at $371,383 in Q4 of 2015 and increased 4.9 percent to $389,450 in Q4 of 2016.
"It was the most fourth quarter sales in 12 years and lowest quarterly inventory recorded in more than 13 years," noted Jonathan J. Miller, President and CEO of Miller Samuel Inc.
In the Hamptons, the average sales price ($1,676,410 in Q4 of 2016) continued to decline with a 29.7 percent drop from last year ($2,383,499 in Q4 of 2015).
"The market remains as it has for the past six months," explained Paul Brennan
, Associate Broker and Douglas Elliman
's Executive Manager of Sales for the Hamptons. "The higher end is still slow but the lower end is percolating."
The median sales price increased from $825,000 in Q3 to $925,000 in Q4, a 12.1 percent increase, although year to date, the median sales price was down 5.3 percent.
"The market remains soft at the top," added Miller. "Sales declined across all markets but larger declines were seen over the $5 million threshold."
The number of sales was up 1.4 percent - from 517 in Q3 to 524 in Q4, but it fell 13.7 percent year to date. The listing inventory dropped 14.3 percent - from 1,533 in Q3 to 1,314 in Q4.
In the luxury Hamptons market, the number of sales increased 1.9 percent from 52 in Q3 to 53 in Q4, however it was down 14.5 percent from year to year.
"Price trends were down because of fewer high end sales - after considering the shift in the mix, the market was essential flat in the mid-tier, rising below $1 million and declining above $5 million," said Miller.
Listing inventory dropped in the luxury market 4.9 percent from 263 in Q3 to 250 in Q4, but year to year increased 20.8 percent.
"Supply is declining overall but still rising in the luxury market, which suggests continued weakness over the next several quarters," noted Miller.
The average sales price declined 17.3 percent from $8,538,746 in Q3 to $7,058,240 in Q4 and was down 42.6 percent year to year. The median sales price also saw a significant decrease from $6,250,000 in Q3 to $5,850,000 in Q4 and it was down 29.5 percent year to year.
"The real question is, what will it take to get the higher end moving?" Brennan pondered. "Especially as the 'normal' house market is doing well on Long Island, the North Fork and the rest of the country."
Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com