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2018 Fire Island Real Estate Market Report

Prepared by:

Abigail Mago, Licensed Associate Broker

Abigail@fireislandrealestate.com

Island Wide Data

The strong market performance we’ve been experiencing over the last few years has continued through 2018.  In fact, 2018 was a record year for the Fire Island real estate market, both in terms of the average and median sale prices.  The average island wide sale price reached an all-time high of $907,042.  This represents a 14% year over year increase from 2017’s average sale price of $797,947. This is the first time the average sale price has broken the $900,000 mark since I began data collection in 2006. To provide some historical context, the average sale price over the last 13 years has been $776,401, which is 17% lower than 2018’s average.

While the average sale price was a record high, the number of homes sold did decline by 10% from 2017 to 2018.  133 Fire Island homes were sold in 2018, as compared to 147 in 2017.  Even though the volume of sales did decline year over year, 2018’s 133 sales is still 30% higher than the number of homes sold in a typical year, which, over the last 13 years, has averaged 102 sales per year.

The lowest priced Fire Island property sold in 2018 was $100,000, as compared to 2017’s lowest priced sale of $50,000. The most expensive property sold in 2018 traded for $3,800,000, which is 105% higher than the most expensive sale closed in 2017 of $1,850,000, and 45% higher than the 13-year average high price paid of $2,627,154.  While it should be noted that the $3,800,000 sale was of a commercial property, not a residence, the high end of the market was significantly more active in 2018 than it was in 2017, with 15 sales occurring at or above the $1.5 million mark and 7 sales occurring at or above the $2 million mark. In 2017, only 9 homes traded at or above the $1.5 million mark, topping out at a high price of $1,850,000.

The median sale price in 2018 was $765,000, a 2% year over year increase from 2017’s median sale price of $750,000.  Stronger market activity in the higher priced segments is also evident in the fact that the average sale price in 2018 was 16% higher than the median sale price.  In 2017, the average was only 6% higher than the median sale price.  The higher the average sale price relative to the median sale price, the greater the activity at the high end of the market, causing the average to skew upwards.  The graph below compares the average and median sale prices from 2016 – 2018.

To put the 2018 market data into perspective, it is helpful to look at sales figures relative to the entire period of data collection in addition to comparing to the previous year’s performance.

 

TOWN BY TOWN ANALYSIS

In addition to looking at the island’s overall market performance, it is useful to examine the data on a town by town basis.

ATLANTIQUE

Atlantique saw no sales activity in 2018.  A small community, Atlantique usually sees 1 sale per year. The average sale price over the past 12 years in Atlantique is $589,323.

CHERRY GROVE

Cherry Grove saw strong market performance in 2018, with 15 homes trading, as compared to 12 homes in 2017 and a historical average of 13 per year. The average sale price in 2018 was $628,933, which was up 18% from $531,750 in 2017, and up 16% from the 13-year average sale price of $544,342.  The least expensive Cherry Grove property to trade in 2018 was $335,000, up 29% from 2017’s lowest price of $260,000.

CORNEILLE ESTATES

Two homes sold in Corneille Estates in 2018, as was the case in 2017. 2 sales per year is average for the community.  The 2018 average sale price was $1,142,000 which is 36% higher than 2017’s average sale price and 56% higher than the last 13 year’s average sale price of $734,163. 2018’s lowest price Corneille Estates sale of $999,000 was 22% higher than 2017’s lowest price sale of $820,000. The highest price paid for a Corneille Estates home in 2018 was $1,285,000, up 49% from 2017’s high price of $860,000 and up 65% from the 13-year average high price of $778,958.

DAVIS PARK

Sales transaction volume in Davis Park was over 3 times a typical year in 2018 with 16 sales taking place, as compared to the historical average of 5 sales per year.  Sale count was up 78% from 2017, which was also a strong year with 9 homes trading. The average sale price rose by 3% from $569,137 in 2017 to $588,725 in 2018, and was 14% higher than an average year. The highest price paid for a home in Davis Park in 2018 was $1,225,000 which was a 40% increase over the previous year, and 60% higher than the average highest price paid in the last 13 years.

DUNEWOOD

 After no sales activity in Dunewood in 2017, 2018 saw strong market activity with 3 sales.  A small community, Dunewood typically sees only one home sale per year.  The average sale price in 2018 was $1,678,335, which is 95% higher than the 13-year average of $859,438.  The highest price paid for a home in Dunewood in 2018 was $2,917,506, which is 175% higher than the 13-year average high price paid of $1,062,501.

FAIR HARBOR

Fair Harbor had another strong year with 14 sales in both 2018 and 2017, which is 56% higher than the 13-year average of 9 sales per year.  The average sale price was up 16% year over year, to $926,946 in 2018 from $795,709 in 2017.  This is a 37% increase over the historical average sale price of $679,045.  The highest price paid in Fair Harbor in 2018 was $2,000,000, which is 14% higher than the highest price paid in 2017 and 79% higher than the highest price paid in an average year.  The lowest price paid in Fair Harbor in 2018 of $525,000 is 5% lower than the lowest price paid in Fair Harbor in 2017 of $550,000.

FIRE ISLAND PINES

The Pines market remained remarkably steady from 2017 to 2018, with 29 homes trading hands in both years and the average sale price dipping by .3% from $1,011,961 in 2017 to $1,008,792 in 2018.  The average 2018 sale price was .4% shy of the 13-year average sale price of $1,013,188. The highest price paid in the Pines in 2018 was $2,485,018, up 34% from 2017’s high price of $1,850,000 and up 10% from the 13-year average high sale price of $2,262,348.  The lowest price paid in the Pines in 2017 was $412,754, which is 25% lower than the lowest price paid in 2017 of $550,000.

KISMET

Kismet is one of the only Fire Island towns where the market declined from 2017 to 2018, with a 3% year over year decline in average sale price and a 43% decline in the number of sales, from 7 in 2017 to only 4 in 2018, which is 20% less than an average year.  The average sale price decreased from $694,857 in 2017 to $671,250 in 2018. The lowest price paid for a Kismet home was 34% lower in 2018 than in 2017, and 21% lower than in an average year. The highest price paid in Kismet in 2018 was $995,000 which was 12% higher than 2017’s high price paid of $885,000.

LONELYVILLE

Lonelyville saw strong performance in 2018, with 3 homes selling, as compared to an average year which sees just one home sale.  The average sale price was up 57%, as compared to the historical average sale price, as well as year over year, increasing from $751,667 in 2017 to $1,178,333 in 2018.  The lowest price paid in Lonelyville was up 63% from $450,000 in 2017 to $735,000 in 2018.  The highest price paid in Lonelyville was also up, increasing by 36% from $1,100,000 in 2017 to $1,500,000 in 2018, which is 68% higher than the 13-year average high price paid.

OCEAN BAY PARK

Ocean Bay Park saw dramatic price growth in 2018, with the average sale price increasing by 52% from $640,611 in 2017 to $973,745 in 2018. The average sale price in Ocean Bay Park over the last 13 years has been $544,985, which is 79% lower than 2018’s average.  Sale count was up 11% year over year, with 10 homes trading in 2018, as compared to 9 in 2017.  This represents 35% more sales than in an average year, which typically sees 7 sales occurring.  The lowest price paid in Ocean Bay Park in 2018 was $550,000, as compared to $130,000 in 2017 which is a 323% increase year over year and a 106% increase over the 13-year average low price of $266,962.  Fire Island Real Estate brokered the highest price Ocean Bay Park sale in 2018 of $2,000,000, which is the highest price ever paid in Ocean Bay Park, a 67% increase from 2017’s high price paid of $1,200,000, and 104% higher than the 13-year average high price paid of $982,182.  In recent years, Ocean Bay Park has shed its reputation as a haven for share houses and group rentals and continues to transition towards luxury family homes and high-end rentals.

OCEAN BEACH

Coming off of record transaction volume of 39 sales in 2017, not surprisingly the number of Ocean Beach sales declined substantially year over year to 21 sales in 2018.  This 46% decline can be viewed as a regression to the mean, with 21 sales per year being the average over the last 13 years.

While sale count decreased to be in line with a typical year, average sale price was up 14%, from $793,705 in 2017 to $908,516 in 2018, which is 33% higher than the historical average sale price of $681,952.  The highest price paid in Ocean Beach in 2018 was $3,800,000 which is 137% more than 2017’s high price paid of $1,606,000.  This sale was a commercial property, not a residence. The highest price paid for an Ocean Beach residence in 2018 was $1,185,000.  The lowest price paid for an Ocean Beach home in 2018 was $385,000, down 4% from 2017’s low price of $400,000.

ROBBINS REST

No homes changed hands in Robbins Rest in 2018.  Given the small size of the community, an average year sees only 1 home sale.  The historic average sale price in Robbin’s Rest is $677,333.

SALTAIRE

Saltaire had an extremely weak year in 2018.  Traditionally considered one of the most desirable communities on Fire Island, Saltaire usually sees 10 homes trade a year with some of the highest price points island wide.  2018 saw only 2 Saltaire homes trade hands, which represents an 82% year over year decline and an 80% decline from the 13-year average sale count.  The average sale price also declined by 18% from $943,691 in 2017 to $775,250 in 2018.

The lowest price paid for a Saltaire home is 2018 was $645,000, which was 62% higher than the 2017 low price paid of $397,500, and 45% higher than the 13-year average low price.  However, the high price paid was only $905,500, which is down 38% from 2017’s high price of $1,460,000 and down 52% from the 13-year average high price paid of $1,875,042.

SEAVIEW

After a significant sales slump in 2016 and 2017, Seaview sales came back strong in 2018.  Sale count was up 38% from 8 sales in 2017 to 11 sales in 2018, which is 22% greater than the 13-year average sale count of 9 homes.  The average sale price was up 29% from $838,581 in 2017 to $1,081,591 in 2018. While the year over year average price jump was considerable, 2018’s average sale price was just a modest 3% above the 13-year average of $1,045,489.

The lowest price paid in Seaview in 2018 was $715,000, up 8% from 2017’s low price of $660,000, and 26% higher than the historical average price of $566,731.  The highest price paid in Seaview in 2018 was $2,372,500, which is 146% higher than the highest price paid in 2017 of $962,500 and 19% higher than the 13-year average Seaview sale price of $1,998,192.

SUMMER CLUB

Two homes traded in the Summer Club in 2018, as compared to none in 2017.  Two home sales per year is typical for the Summer Club.  2018’s average Summer Club sale price was $1,123,750, which is 56% higher than the historical average sale price of $719,907.  The lowest price paid in the Summer Club was $1,100,000, which is 89% higher than the 13-year average lowest sale price of $582,656.  The highest price paid was $1,147,500, which is 20% higher than the 13-year average high price paid of $957,688.

WATER ISLAND

Only one home sold in Water Island in 2018, for a sale price of $1,500,000. 2017 also saw only one home sale in Water Island, at a price point of $1,200,000, representing a 25% year over year increase and a 26% premium over the 13-year average sales price of $1,194,042.

CONCLUSION

With both the average and median sale prices reaching record levels in 2018, the Fire Island real estate market continued the streak of strong performance that we’ve been experiencing since 2016.  While the number of sales in 2018 did decline by 10% year over year, we are still experiencing annual transaction counts well above average.  The 14% increase in the average sale price coupled with the modest 2% increase in the median sale price indicates that the market’s performance was driven largely by sales at the high end.  This is not surprising, given that the high end of the market was completely dormant in 2017, so that pent up demand ended up transacting in 2018.

Because the Fire Island real estate market does not function like a traditional real estate market with a centralized multiple listing service, reliable market data is not readily available to the public. Our annual market reports are published in an effort to address that.  Both buyers and sellers are served by being fully informed about the market in which they are considering transacting.  Please do not hesitate to contact me at abigail@fireislandrealestate.com if I can provide any further information, or if I can be of help to you in the sale or purchase of your Fire Island home.

METHODOLOGY

Please note that all information herein is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Fire Island Real Estate is not responsible for any errors, omissions, or incorrect information.  The information contained herein is sourced from public real estate transaction records. Sales data reporting has a lag of approximately 90 days.  Due to this lag, there may be some outstanding sales that closed late in 2018 but have not yet been reported and are therefore not reflected in this report. All historic data refers to the period between 2006 and 2018.