The Hamptons saw one of its most competitive homebuying seasons ever during the second quarter of 2020 as the pandemic spread across the country and affluent New Yorkers fled the city en masse, according to data from the latest Douglas Elliman Report released Thursday.

The median sales price of a home in the Hamptons rose a whopping 27.1 percent to $1.08 million in the second quarter.

The number of sales, meanwhile, fell by 13.1 percent to 433 — an indication of a major inventory shortage as homeowners hold off on placing properties on the market due to general uncertainty and the expectation that prices will rise to meet current demand. One property in East Hampton sold for $45 million in April while another estate in Southampton sold for $43 million in May, according to news reports.

Hamptons House. Courtesy of Zillow.

As a result, inventory fell by 25.5 percent year-over-year. There were only 1,906 homes on the market in the second quarter compared to 2,557 at the same time last year. Even homeowners who are strapped for cash and would have otherwise tried to sell off vacation properties are finding other options. Back in April, a man fleeing the city paid $2 million to rent a property in the Southampton until September.

“Inventory fell at a significant rate because many homeowners in the beginning of the quarter pulled their listings,” Jonathan Miller, who authored the study, told the New York Post. “They were concerned of what the future looked like and would-be listers delayed listing because, again, this uncertainty that was pervasive.”

In the same quarter, the average sales price rose by 22.8 percent to $2,105,601. Luxury properties, which the report identifies as the too 10 percent of the highest sales, were also up significantly with an average sales price of $9,550,957 and a median sales price of $6,425,000.

“There’s somewhat of a herd mentality,” Miller said. “There was an eagerness to lock in something out of the city for the summer. And when rentals weren’t available, sales were the next best thing.”

Email Veronika Bondarenko

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