“Remember, nothing lasts forever,” Town & Country Real Estate CEO Judi Desiderio begins in her first-half report for the real estate market on Long Island’s North Fork, “and things aren’t always as they seem.”
Indeed, the impact of the unprecedented real estate market that we’ve witnessed across Long Island these past two years was felt as much on the East End as everywhere else, but taking a closer look at the numbers and trends gives a truer sense of what happened in heart of Long Island Wine Country. In a year-on-year comparison with 2021’s first six months, Desiderio notes that “while the statistics reveal a slowdown in market conditions, I will take you back to Town & Country North Fork Mid-Year 2019 Home Sales Report—pre-COVID—to get a more balanced look at home sales activity.”
In the four individual markets monitored by Town & Country on the North Fork— Jamesport, Mattituck, Southold and Orient—each saw drops in the Number of Home Sales and the Total Home Sales Volume. But as Desiderio points out in the report, “the Median Home Sales Price in all these markets rose—by as much as 29.5%. You know what that means, the primary factor influencing our North Fork markets is inventory.”
The Number of Home Sales in the combined North Fork markets dropped 28.64% year-over-year, but homes selling between $2 million and $3.49 million witnessed a 20% increase—and those between $3.5 million and $4.99 million were up 50%. In the first half of 2021, there were two homes that sold for $5 million or more, and while there were none this year, other impressive numbers are on record compared to the past few years in the region.
“When I take you back to the Town & Country North Fork Mid-Year 2019 Home Sales Report,” Desiderio notes in the report, “you can see that the sales activity for 2022, while lower than that of the 2021 heightened market, it is still considerably greater than that of the pre-COVID 2019 levels. The Total Home Sales Volume in 2022 at $300,765,835 is more than twice what it was in 2019 at $124,466,685—and even 2018 at $148,196,427. And the Median Home Sales Price, well that speaks for itself—$822,500 in 2022 up from $576,250 in 2019.”
There is no crystal ball, of course, that will reveal what these numbers may predict for the remainder of 2022, to say nothing of a year from now. But it does seem that the impact of COVID is waning in the North Fork real estate market.
“COVID created a temporary heightened market for home sales clear across the country, with the greatest impact on vacation markets within driving distance to major cities,” Desiderio offers in her analysis. “Bottom line, the ‘COVID Kick-Up,’ as I call it, sent sales activity and prices to rise in volumes never seen before by this student of the market. Everything has its lifespan. This one has run its evolutionary course and I’m already looking forward to the markets to come and the opportunities they bring.”