Starter Homes Find Takers in the Hamptons

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This Sag Harbor home can be yours for $879,500.

If you thought snagging a starter house in the Hamptons would be a cinch, given the real estate market's struggles in the East End, think again. According to two surveys of the South Fork real estate market's fourth quarter released today, the market for houses like these has been surprisingly enthusiastic.

According to Brown Harris Stevens's report, there were 16 percent more deals made in the last quarter of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010 for properties under a million (up from 153 to 178). They represented the lion's share of transactions in many neighborhoods, including Sag Harbor and East Hampton. (Not so in Bridgehampton, where the luxury segment — $8 million and up — saw a big jump, with 9 houses selling in that price range compared to 2010, when 4 found takers.) The market in general was busier, with 298 houses finding takers instead of 2010's 288.

Nevertheless, prices dipped in the East End, per Prudential Douglas Elliman's report. The median price dipped to $780,000 from $900,000 in the Hamptons while in the North Fork, the median is now at $450,000, as it was in the fourth quarter of 2010, but down from the third quarter's $470,000.