The Hamptons, a string of towns beginning about 75 miles (120 kilometers) east of Manhattan on Long Island’s south side, attract financial and Hollywood celebrities including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chairman Lloyd Blankfein and media mogul Martha Stewart each summer.With the average price of Hamptons properties down 24 percent from the 2007 peak, sellers are getting more realistic, said Paul Brennan, Hamptons regional manager for Prudential Douglas Elliman.

Hamptons, New York, home sales more than doubled in the second quarter from a year earlier, solidifying a turnaround after two years of Wall Street reluctance to splurge on beachfront property.Transactions climbed to 479 in the towns on Long Island’s East End, the second-biggest jump in at least a decade of record keeping. Larger, more expensive homes boosted the median price 17 percent to $900,000, New York-based appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and broker Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate said in a report today. The largest sales rise was in the first quarter.“We’ve returned to a more normal volume of sales,” said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel. “It feels like a boom because there was such a void in activity a year ago.”A U.S. stock market recovery helped ignite confidence, said Judi Desiderio, president of Hamptons, New York-based Town & Country Real Estate. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 29 percent from the beginning of 2009’s second quarter through the end of June this year. New York City financial companies added jobs for a fourth straight month in June, helping bring the unemployment rate down to 9.5 percent. Gains included 2,400 finance jobs, according to the state Labor Department. “Wall Street is employed again,” Desiderio said. “They’ve had some winnings or earnings from the market and they’re putting it into real estate.”
By Oshrat Carmiel and Ashley Lutz, Jul 22, 2010, BB

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