From Vanity Fair:
IIt’s beginning to look a lot like springtime in the Hamptons. Frost has cleared from the dunes; landscape artists are tending to hedge-grow after the wilds of winter on the east end of Long Island; and if you listen hard enough, you can hear the sound of 1,000 tricked-out Range Rovers rolling into town.
But a cool wind is blowing through the elite enclave, as Wall Street fears send a chill through a real-estate market that, until recently, has been white hot.
Home sales in the Hamptons, a second-home hub for financiers, New York’s famed families, and actual famous people alike, has fallen to its lowest level in three years, as concerns over global markets in the first quarter of 2016 kept buyers at bay.
The market was hit by a swift one-two punch at the start of the year: a slowdown in China and anemic oil prices caused the S&P 500 to suffer its weakest start to a year since 2009, and Wall Street bonuses—a major source of funding for high-end home purchases—took a blow, too. Hedge funds were coming off a dismal year and continued to bleed well into the first quarter, while lay-offs in the banking sector have continued apace.
All of this led the number of Hamptons home sales to tumble 19.2 percent in the three months through March year-over-year, according to a report published Thursday by real-estate company Douglas Elliman and appraiser Miller Samuel. At the same time, the median sales price fell 2.8 percent to $895,000 from a year earlier.
Sales of luxury homes—anything listed for at least $4.05 million—fell 30 percent to 45 deals in the first quarter, according to the report. On the even higher end, the number of purchases at or above the $10 million mark fell to 9 from 13 from a year earlier.