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Advice to Hamptons home buyers: Be picky and patient

New York

IT'S a buyer's market for luxury properties in the Hamptons this summer.

With the biggest market glut in more than seven years, prices in New York's seaside getaway are "soft on top and tighter as you go lower," said Jonathan Miller, chief executive officer of appraisal firm Miller Samuel Inc.

Seven Hamptons homes sold for more than US$10 million in the first quarter, just more than half of the 12 transactions in the same period a year earlier, according to listing site Out East.

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The median sale price fell to US$16 million from US$23 million. More supply is moving in, with the number of luxury homes listed, defined as the top 10 per cent of sales, almost tripling year-on-year.

"With many homes lingering on the market for longer than in the past, buyers have the opportunity to be picky and patient, especially those in the market for a home on the higher end," said Matt Daimler, Out East's general manager.

"Until sellers come down to meet buyers' expectations, it's likely we will see this trend continue further into the summer," Mr Daimler said.

That category includes a 14-acre Southampton property on Meadow Lane that spans three oceanfront lots with two golf greens. At an asking price of US$150 million, it's at the top end of the spectrum.

For the most expensive properties, it's also about finding that rare buyer for whom money is no object, according to Sotheby's broker Harald Grant, who is listing the Southampton estate. "Yes it's expensive, but people who buy properties at that price point are looking for flexibility in life for how to build, for example a compound for your children or tennis courts," Mr Grant said,

"Everyone has their own interior designer and architect, and you're going to make your own changes." BLOOMBERG