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Year End Reports Say Sales Are up, but So Is Inventory

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Corcoran's year end market reports were dropped in our mailbox yesterday, which means it's time to get analyzing! From this report, the main takeaway is that both the number and dollar volume of sales are up from 2009, which is pretty great news. By the end of 2010, the Hamptons saw a 58% increase in units sold, which was accompanied by a 55% in dollar volume. Despite the transaction spike, though, the median sale price across most hamlets remained near 2009 levels—possible proof that "historically high" inventory levels are tempering recovery. For home buyers, it seems 2010 was all about taking advantage of the deals 2009 helped create. So what else to know about the year that was?

Another point of interest is the land market's comeback. Overall, even as median land prices increased 26%, the number of parcels sold increased by 92%, which helped increase the total land dollar volume by 187%. Holy Farrel! As Corcoran points out, "increased activity in the land market in 2010 is a harbinger of future residential construction by both speculative builders and end-users." You've heard it millions of times, but maybe builders are back? Long live the spec house!

A final driving force behind last year's increased metrics is the returned popularity of $5+ million homes among the rich. Miller Samuel, for example, found that "there were 38 sales for properties $5 million and up, compared with 24 sales in the same period a year earlier." And this increase is probably because $5 million are way more fun to own.
· The Corcoran Report, Year End 2010 [Corcoran]
· Sales of Pricier Properties Soar in Hamptons [Crain's]