“What it suggests to me is not that there was a sharp drop-off in pricing, because there wasn’t,” said Jonathan Miller, the president of Miller Samuel. “It’s a shift in the mix. We had a drop in upper-end sales activity….

Oct. 21 (Bloomberg) — Home prices in New York’s Hamptons, the beachside resort towns in Long Island swelled by summering Manhattanites, dropped 14 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier as buyers opted for less-expensive properties.The median price of homes that sold in the quarter fell to $696,000 from $810,000 a year earlier, according to a report today by New York appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and broker Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate. It was the second-lowest price in the firms’ six years of keeping the data, behind only the $675,000 median in the first quarter of 2009.New York City’s financial industry, whose executives fuel high-end Hamptons demand, lost 1,600 jobs in September from August, the state Department of Labor said today. Professional and business services — a sector that includes lawyers, accountants and architects — lost 9,000 jobs, the most for September since at least 1990. Wall Street firms may cut 80,000 jobs in the next 18 months and year-end bonuses could be the lowest since 2008, Meredith Whitney, founder of Meredith Whitney Advisory Group, said in a Sept. 30 Bloomberg Radio interview.Eleven Hamptons homes sold for $5 million or more in the third quarter, compared with 20 a year earlier, Miller said. The median price for luxury properties, defined as the top 10 percent by price, dropped 14 percent in the Hamptons and Long Island’s North Fork to $3.7 million“I see the East End as joined at the hip with Wall Street,” Miller said. “Going forward, that’s a concern. The next couple of quarters are not quite clear at the moment.”

By Oshrat Carmiel, October 21, 2010 Business Week/Bloomberg

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