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Long Island Residential Sale Price Evolution 2014-2018: Orient Doubles Up in Just 5 Years, Fishers Island Median Halved

Key Takeaways:

  • A quarter of Nassau and Suffolk county communities saw prices appreciate 20% or more.
  • Sagaponack remains the most expensive Long Island community at $5.1 million
  • Orient doubled its median, while Fishers Island saw its median halved.
  • Sales activity dynamics were significantly different in markets with medians above $1M million.

After analyzing the home price evolution along the Bronx’s Grand Concourse, we were curious to see what the price evolution was in Long Island communities outside NYC. To get the most accurate picture of Long Island’s price evolution, we looked at all residential sales closed between 2014 and 2018, in 108 towns and Census designated places (CDPs) located in Nassau and Suffolk counties, excluding all package deals. 2014 median sale prices were adjusted for inflation. For the purposes of this study, Long Island refers exclusively to Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Reviewing the activity in Long Island’s residential market over the past five years, it immediately became clear that the overall market and the upper tranches have been operating under very different market conditions. While sales activity expanded in most Long Island markets – including a whopping 120% in Nassau’s Old Bethpage – the $1-million-and-up category experienced a dramatic slowdown between 2014 and 2018.

Additionally, nearly half of the Island markets that saw their median sale price contract in the past five years are communities with medians above the $1 million mark. By comparison, the overall median sale price for Nassau and Suffolk counties in 2018 was up 12% over 2014.

Median sale prices expanded in 89% of Long Island markets

Between 2014 and 2018, the median sale price increased in 96 of the 108 towns and CDPs we analyzed. The leader of value growth was Orient, with a massive 105% median sale price hike. Residential sale prices appreciated so much, the CDP was pushed into the over $1 million category, posting a 2018 median of $1,316,250 – despite a 29% contraction in sales activity.

The second-highest price increase took place in East Marion, where the median sale price jumped 38% compared to 2014 levels, closing 2018 with a median of $765,000. It was followed by Greenport with an increase of 37%. Similar to Orient, both markets saw sales activity contract between 2014 and 2018 – Greenport closed 13% fewer sales in 2018 than five years before, whereas East Marion sales dropped 35%.

Overall, a total of 63 Long Island towns and CDPs experienced double-digit growth in their median sale prices. In fact, 19 communities saw their median sale price climb 20% or more, while an additional seven markets saw their medians jump 30% over 2014 levels.

More medians depreciated in Suffolk County than in Nassau 

Of the 12 communities where median sale prices underwent negative growth, nearly half were markets that in 2014 posted medians above the $1 million mark. Geographically, two are located in Nassau County and 10 in Suffolk County. As such, Nassau County experienced a contraction in median sale prices in 7% of its markets, whereas Suffolk County saw medians slide in 12% of its markets.

The leader of negative growth was Fishers Island, where the 2018 median sale price was a colossal 52% lower than in 2014. The ultra-private community posted an $825,000 median last year, averaging out to a loss of more than $700,000 over 2014 values. Sales activity, too, slowed, sliding 12%.

The second-highest median sale price contraction was observed in another high-value Suffolk community – Westhampton Beach, where last year’s $1,079,300 median was 15% lower than 2014 figures. Sales activity also slowed, with 12% fewer homes sold last year than 5 years ago.

Old Bethpage and Sound Beach more than doubled their sales activity

When looking at sales activity evolution, the lower- and mid-range price medians saw the largest gains. Old Bethpage led with a jaw-dropping 120% increase in sales activity, paired with a 28% median sale price expansion over the same period. Its median in 2018 stood at $625,000 with 55 registered sales. Next in line was Sound Beach, which posted a median of $250,000 last year, its 167 sales representing a 109% expansion in transaction activity.

Brookhaven and Mastic also came close to doubling their sales activity with increases of 96% and 93%, respectively. In fact, 85 of the towns and CDPs analyzed experienced ramp-ups in sales activity – 29 of which were up 50% or more. Of the 23 markets where sales activity decelerated between 2014 and 2018, 13 are markets with medians of $1 million or higher.

While most of the communities in Nassau and Suffolk counties experienced higher median sale prices, market indicators in high-income enclaves followed different dynamics. Of the 16 markets that posted median sale prices of $1 million or higher, a third experienced a contraction of their median sale price over 2014 levels.

Sagaponack sales dropped 62%, but its $5.1 million median remains unbeatable

At the same time, sales activity in luxury markets decreased at an even more rapid rate; only three such markets had higher volumes of transactions in 2018 than they did in 2014. The rest underwent double-digit deceleration, with Sagaponack leading. Home to the the second-most expensive zip code nationally in 2018, Sagaponack saw sales activity drop 62% compared to 2014 levels.

However, the ultra-wealthy enclave’s median gained 11% over 2014 levels – mid-range growth compared to Long Island overall, but in actual dollars, that growth represents more than $650,000. As a result, Sagaponack posted a $5.1 million median sale price in 2018, outpaced nationally only by California’s Atherton with a $6.7 million median.

Water Mill also underwent a noticeable contraction in sales activity, dropping 26%, while its median climbed 32% over 2014 levels. Water Mill posted a median sale price of $2,862,500 in 2018, ranking it as the 17th most expensive zip code nationally with 11976. In fact, a total of eight Long Island communities are home to zip codes that ranked among 2018’s most expensive nationally, including Bridgehampton, Wainscott, Old Westbury, Quogue, Manhasset and Great Neck.

Gains in their respective median sale prices, and downward trends in sales activity seem to be characteristic on the luxury end of Long Island’s residential market, with the exception of Old Westbury and Great Neck, where both indicators surpassed 2014 levels. While Great Neck’s median and sales ticked up 7%, Old Westbury’s median inched up 8% along with a 21% increase in transactions. As such, Long Island’s ultra-wealthy pockets will most likely continue as some of the most expensive residential markets in the U.S.

Check out the table below for the full picture of Long Island’s residential price evolution:

Town / CDPCounty2014 Median Sale
Price
(Inflation-Adjusted)
Sales Activity 2014 2018 Median Sale PriceSales Activity 20182014-2018 Sales Activity Evolution2014-2018 Median Sale Price Evolution
OrientSuffolk $642,990 34 $1,316,250 24-29%105%
East MarionSuffolk $516,500 26 $765,000 17-35%38%
GreenportSuffolk $430,856 60 $610,000 52-13%36%
WyandanchSuffolk $147,571 123 $205,000 18752%33%
CopiagueSuffolk $252,453 114 $345,000 18562%33%
Water MillSuffolk $2,463,916 122 $2,862,500 90-26%32%
East HamptonSuffolk $1,575,852 156 $2,200,000 122-22%32%
Central IslipSuffolk $195,005 293 $265,730 44251%32%
BayportSuffolk $369,983 45 $485,500 6851%28%
East QuogueSuffolk $552,128 95 $696,500 11016%28%
Old BethpageNassau $505,959 25 $625,000 55120%28%
HempsteadNassau $247,709 291 $305,000 50774%26%
Hampton BaysSuffolk $400,551 225 $500,000 2271%26%
Valley StreamNassau $368,923 346 $460,000 54056%24%
BrentwoodSuffolk $234,639 317 $290,000 46145%24%
BellportSuffolk $212,182 94 $243,000 14959%24%
PatchogueSuffolk $249,617 346 $299,900 48540%24%
CoramSuffolk $249,027 166 $317,000 28069%23%
RiverheadSuffolk $268,791 237 $336,850 28621%23%
AmityvilleSuffolk $275,642 180 $319,418 25542%23%
MontaukSuffolk $964,485 109 $1,162,500 80-27%23%
West HempsteadNassau $399,497 143 $500,000 20040%22%
HicksvilleNassau $388,956 311 $467,457 40932%22%
LynbrookNassau $400,024 168 $501,000 19516%21%
SeldenSuffolk $258,250 193 $298,450 28648%21%
LevittownNassau $343,894 336 $417,008 48143%21%
ShorehamSuffolk $347,636 46 $432,300 7052%20%
CalvertonSuffolk $272,849 28 $330,725 3421%19%
BayvilleNassau $415,431 55 $513,500 7842%19%
QuogueSuffolk $1,554,771 69 $1,600,000 44-36%19%
SeafordNassau $407,403 167 $489,125 20825%19%
LindenhurstSuffolk $299,886 294 $339,000 45755%19%
Ocean BeachSuffolk $671,977 26 $810,000 3327%19%
HoltsvilleSuffolk $287,712 99 $349,631 1056%18%
MelvilleSuffolk $558,663 91 $668,470 14762%18%
FamingdaleSuffolk $374,199 35 $415,000 4529%18%
BellmoreNassau $437,444 287 $515,000 33818%18%
ShirleySuffolk $192,739 283 $217,500 48070%18%
BaldwinNassau $363,658 262 $423,000 39752%18%
Bay ShoreSuffolk $280,913 432 $318,250 64650%17%
Deer ParkSuffolk $321,495 183 $368,000 29058%17%
MerrickNassau $486,986 293 $562,240 38933%17%
CentereachSuffolk $289,872 228 $330,990 31739%17%
Sag HarborSuffolk $1,155,537 232 $1,320,000 198-15%17%
MasticSuffolk $167,599 151 $191,053 29293%17%
Roslyn HeightsNassau $816,913 145 $950,000 139-4%15%
Shelter IslandSuffolk $843,265 57 $945,000 27-53%15%
Sound BeachSuffolk $223,729 80 $250,000 167109%15%
MedfordSuffolk $260,464 210 $293,147 34866%13%
MorichesSuffolk $324,130 145 $368,250 18830%13%
MassapequaNassau $437,444 530 $482,500 77847%13%
WesthamptonSuffolk $803,737 52 $900,000 51-2%13%
West IslipSuffolk $395,281 195 $460,000 25330%13%
PlainviewNassau $526,514 272 $608,000 33423%13%
Middle IslandSuffolk $268,791 85 $280,015 12851%13%
BethpageNassau $407,403 147 $449,000 18123%13%
WantaghNassau $432,173 240 $474,000 32535%12%
FarmingvilleSuffolk $292,297 112 $312,900 17758%12%
SagaponackSuffolk $4,448,225 26 $5,100,000 10-62%11%
HolbrookSuffolk $319,914 164 $367,250 24449%11%
JerichoNassau $788,453 118 $883,000 17447%11%
BohemiaSuffolk $356,280 59 $410,000 9358%10%
East RockawayNassau $363,658 94 $411,000 10512%10%
RidgeSuffolk $283,943 110 $305,910 15945%10%
CenterportSuffolk $563,934 49 $610,000 8982%10%
Blue PointSuffolk $416,362 35 $453,500 4837%9%
East NorthportSuffolk $439,552 221 $495,000 29533%9%
SmithtownSuffolk $456,124 252 $495,000 32830%9%
Port WashingtonNassau $810,325 272 $879,000 238-13%9%
Kings ParkSuffolk $419,261 116 $440,000 17551%9%
SoutholdSuffolk $529,149 109 $579,500 1123%8%
ManorvilleSuffolk $405,821 84 $440,625 12448%8%
NesconsetSuffolk $418,734 96 $440,000 12530%8%
Mount SinaiSuffolk $431,910 112 $467,000 12310%8%
Mastic BeachSuffolk $126,384 191 $131,000 155-19%8%
OakdaleSuffolk $395,281 65 $429,000 9749%8%
Rocky PointSuffolk $242,439 150 $253,251 22248%8%
Old WestburyNassau $1,581,123 39 $1,590,000 4721%8%
Great NeckNassau $1,048,811 329 $1,150,000 3527%7%
Garden CityNassau $869,617 241 $923,500 234-3%7%
CommackSuffolk $449,276 178 $495,000 26750%7%
Pt Jefferson StationSuffolk $325,706 172 $336,980 23335%7%
MattituckSuffolk $504,115 52 $539,000 7137%6%
Glen CoveNassau $505,959 169 $515,000 20320%5%
Rockville CentreNassau $647,206 185 $680,000 26342%5%
NorthportSuffolk $606,691 162 $650,000 20023%4%
HuntingtonSuffolk $606,097 273 $641,500 31014%4%
St JamesSuffolk $568,892 128 $590,000 17537%4%
East SetauketSuffolk $474,513 136 $497,500 24278%4%
BrookhavenSuffolk $326,765 26 $326,300 5196%4%
LaurelSuffolk $508,594 20 $578,500 2210%4%
Stony BrookSuffolk $455,363 109 $456,125 16652%4%
BridgehamptonSuffolk $1,897,347 101 $2,268,750 76-25%3%
Miller PlaceSuffolk $401,447 104 $410,000 12722%3%
Lake GroveSuffolk $365,239 87 $377,025 12847%2%
AmagansettSuffolk $2,174,044 120 $2,500,000 69-43%2%
PeconicSuffolk $898,078 14 $751,450 1614%0%
Cold Spring HarborSuffolk $1,254,357 45 $1,200,000 5727%-2%
ManhassetNassau $1,549,500 229 $1,488,000 191-17%-3%
YaphankSuffolk $281,440 26 $286,000 3742%-4%
Shelter Island HeightsSuffolk $790,561 17 $849,000 15-12%-6%
Port JeffersonSuffolk $519,058 56 $465,000 9061%-9%
WainscottSuffolk $2,324,250 28 $2,222,500 20-29%-9%
Locust ValleyNassau $798,467 67 $735,000 8121%-10%
SouthamptonSuffolk $1,712,883 221 $1,500,000 142-36%-11%
SayvilleSuffolk $869,617 26 $755,000 3119%-13%
Westhampton BeachSuffolk $1,300,210 119 $1,079,300 105-12%-15%
Fishers IslandSuffolk $1,528,418 17 $825,000 15-12%-52%

Methodology

For this study, we defined Long Island as Suffolk and Nassau counties, excluding areas that are located on Long Island, but are part of NYC, i.e. King and Queens counties.

We considered all residential transactions between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2018 in towns and CDPs located in Long Island’s Nassau and Suffolk counties, taking into consideration single family homes, condo units and co-op units. All package deals were excluded.

We individually calculated the median sale price for each location. 2014 prices were adjusted for inflation using the Bureau of Labor Statistics calculator.

Eliza Theiss

Eliza Theiss

Eliza Theiss is a senior writer reporting real estate trends in the US. Her work has been cited by CBS News, Curbed, The Los Angeles Times, and Forbes among others. With an academic background in journalism, Eliza has been covering real estate since 2012. Before joining PropertyShark, Eliza was an associate editor at Multi-Housing News and Commercial Property Executive. Eliza also writes for CommercialEdge. Reach her at [email protected]