Luxury housing market thrives in New York

MLS Listings in New York, NY, may experience further activity as 2012 wages on. Consumer confidence has begun to rise, as positive signs that the housing market, economy and job outlook has finally begun its recovery.

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) attracted numerous investors in 2012 and signs of economic improvements spurred new interest. In addition, the S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas gained 0.2 percent in February 2012 on a seasonally adjusted basis. The increase marks the first uptick since April 2011. What's more, economists surveyed by Bloomberg found that American sales of new homes increased by 1.6 percent in March, an improvement on the 1 percent gain seen in February.

While the housing market has stabilized and shown signs of slow recovery, home prices in New York's Hamptons, an ocean-front retreat for Manhattanites, increased nearly 12 percent in the first quarter of 2012 on a year-over-year basis, Bloomberg News reports.

The median price for the average home sold in the first four months of 2012 climbed to $780,000 from $699,000 a year earlier even as total sales declined, according to a study by Miller Samuel Inc., reported by the news source. However, the median price for luxury homes in the Hamptons and Long Island's North Fork increased 3.8 percent year-over-year to $4.78 million.

The high-end housing market has shown signs of stability, which may be in direct response to improved employment markets and increased demand from foreign buyers. The luxurious Hamptons has long been considered an affluent area where the most wealthy New Yorkers live, and with New York City gaining approximately 6,700 new jobs in the 12 months through March 2012, financially stable buyers have purchased large homes more regularly. New York City's jobless rate fell to 9.8 percent in March, down from 10.2 a month earlier, according to the state's Department of Labor.

Homebuyers looking for luxury properties in the Greater New York area may want to consider the Hamptons. These properties are extravagant, some jetting out onto sandy beaches. When it comes to investing in homes that traditionally hold their values and appreciate after various market dips, the Hamptons is a safe choice. With job creation a hot topic in the Big City, many families may find their way into these mansions, which could spark housing recovery statewide.