US: Where is the Real Estate Market Really Headed?

How different is our real estate market from the rest of the country? While it is a matter of record that the price of homes in the Hamptons is significantly higher than the national, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at some of the characteristics of home buying on a national level and allow real estate practitioners on the East End of Long Island to compare them to their local experiences.

The 2010 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers was the source that I used for this subject. The NAR mailed an eight-page questionnaire in July 2010 to a national sample of 111,004 home buyers and sellers who purchased homes between July 2009 and June 2010, according to county records. It generated 8,449 usable responses. The report can be purchased on line at

Among some of the points that I thought would be of interest to real estate professionals and consumers were the following: Even with several years of price declines, the typical seller who purchased a home eight years ago experienced a median equity gain of $33,000, a 24 percent increase, while sellers who were in their homes for 11 to 15 years saw a median gain of 40 percent.

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