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Strong Sales Market This Summer

By Ruth Thomas

As predicted, sales on the North Fork this summer were very strong. Waterfront and water view properties continued to be in high demand, amidst rising prices and low inventory. There was also an increase in vacant land sales. And there were multiple offer situations and bidding wars. As many agents reveal, for certain properties, it was becoming a seller’s market!

Judi Desiderio of Town & Country Real Estate says, “The 2016 North Fork summer season was teeming with visitors. T&C’s mid-year home sales report showed all North Fork markets combined had significant gains in the number of home sales (+12%) as well as total home sales volume (+15%). The most active segment of the market is ‘under a half million.’ Waterfront is always in great demand. We could use more new construction! Who doesn’t love the smell of a new home – it’s the only thing that trumps the smell of a new car. Prices are on a slow and steady ascend as inventory is lacking.” Judi observes, “The beauty of North Fork living is no longer the best kept secret.”

Karla Dennehy of Douglas Elliman Real Estate says, “Seasonal rentals this summer were steady. Sales were brisk. We continue to see buyers that want the $500,000 or less price point. On the high end, waterfront or water view properties are in demand. Riverhead Township, including downtown Riverhead, is enjoying an increase in sales activity. Greenport remains in demand and prices are rising. We are also seeing an increase in land sales. The market is up about 2.5% for the first half of the year, but inventory is down about 7% over last year.” Karla reports, “The market will remain strong going into the fall selling season. Buyers see a great future for the North Fork and are interested in owning property here.”

Sheila Izzo of North Fork Real Estate Inc. says, “Rentals this summer on the North Fork were slower than usual. Homes with pools were the first to go. Sales this summer were very busy, with multiple offers on properties and over-asking price offers in some. The $600,000 and under price range was the most active segment. We have seen a surge in building and interest in vacant lots. Prices are up, and for certain properties, it’s a seller’s market. While we still have many homes on the market, inventory is down. Any newly listed home gets plenty of attention!” Going into the fall selling season, Sheila anticipates, “Falling leaves and rising prices!”

Sean Nethercott of Brown Harris Stevens says, “Rentals are still somewhat behind last year. The summer heated up pretty quickly with July being a very busy month for sales with a continued pace into August. The most active segment is the $500,000 to $800,000 range. Greenport Village is always very much in demand as are areas like Mattituck and Southold. Vacant land sales are increasing. Prices are inching up, though at a slow pace. Many properties are coming on the market and deals are being made very quickly, keeping the inventory level low.” Sean sees, “Sales maintaining a steady pace through the fall, to finish off the year with a busier than normal winter.”

Tom Scalia of Albertson Realty says, “Long term rentals on the North Fork were down from last year while sales this summer were up considerably. Properties that are well priced at both the low end and high end have been moving relatively quickly. New construction is up slightly from where it was a year ago. Prices are up by a few percentage points, because inventory is down from last year.” Tom believes, “Going into the fall selling season the North Fork market will stay strong, similar to the spring.”

Thomas J. McCarthy of Thomas J. McCarthy Real Estate, Inc. says, “Summer rentals performed similarly to last year. Overall sales this summer were strong. We saw shortages of inventory in some market segments, which generated a seller’s market and we enjoyed many multiple offer situations. The most active segment of the market was waterfront homes, up by a third over 2015, and off the water sales from values slightly above median price downward. New construction is sought after. Interest rates remaining at historic lows and abundant cash buyers are supporting strong home prices.” Tom expects, “a strong fall and winter season. If interest rates remain the same, we anticipate a stellar fourth quarter.”

Carol Szynaka of Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty says, “The summer rental market was soft this year going into the season. Sales were strong with lots of buyers and bidding wars through June. The market cooled a bit in July, but I anticipate it picking up again soon. Homes in the $500K-$1M range, in walk to beach locations are in the greatest demand. Not too much new construction, however, there is a good amount of land transactions. Prices are stable and inventory is low. We have had a great season and we have many, many buyers waiting for new inventory.” Carol predicts, “Fall 2016 will be strong. Buyers and sellers are evenly weighted in their negotiating ability.”

Marie Beninati of Beninati Associates says, “Rentals were a mixed bag this summer. The two-week minimum, enacted last fall by Southold Town, negatively impacted many summer rentals. On the other hand, sales are very strong. This is the peak season and it’s been fruitful. Waterfront is the main attraction, but buyers are astute and study the market – they know when a house offers good value and those homes are being sold, often with multiple offers. Prices are moving up but still reasonable, yet inventory is too low. My concern is low supply will push prices higher faster.” Marie believes, “The fall will be strong if the weather does not interfere!”

The North Fork real estate market is anticipated to remain strong going into the fall selling season. With a shortage of inventory, prices rising, and interest rates remaining low, now is the time for both buyers and sellers to enter the market. Come and discover this sliver of paradise known as the North Fork!