New Yorkers seeking a Hamptons retreat during the Covid-19 lockdown were big spenders. Their purchases sent home prices in the Long Island beach towns to a 13-year high.

While the number of homes sold declined 13% in the second quarter from a year earlier, the median price of those deals surged 27% to $1.08 million -- the highest since the second quarter of 2007, appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate said Thursday.

Posh Pads
The pandemic has untethered wealthy New Yorkers from their urban lifestyles, shutting down offices and schools and making homes the focal point of work and learning. That’s drawn city-dwellers in search of more space to the suburbs and exurbs like the Hamptons, a vacation-home market that’s being rediscovered as a place of primary residence.

“Everybody used to say, ‘I want a second home out in the Hamptons,’” said Todd Bourgard, who oversees sales in the area for Douglas Elliman. “Now we’re hearing, ‘I need to have a second home in the Hamptons.’ And they may pay a little bit extra knowing that they’re going to be out here on a full-time basis.”

In-person showings were illegal for most of the second quarter, prompting many sellers to pull their homes from the market. At the end of last month, there were 1,906 properties listed for sale, 26% fewer than a year earlier, the firms said.

Luxury inventory -- the top 10% of the market, which in the quarter meant $4.1 million and above -- didn’t fade as much. There were 590 such listings at the end of June, down 5.6% from a year earlier.

In East Hampton Village, there were 10 completed sales in the quarter, up from eight a year earlier, according to a report by Town & Country Real Estate. The median price of those deals jumped 24% to $5.15 million.

In Southampton Village, the number of deals slipped 7%, while the median sale price rose 7.8% to $3.83 million, the brokerage said.

This story provided by Bloomberg News.