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This week’s Wall Street Journal introduces a Greater New York section that focuses on, among other things, regional real estate. They’s staffed up have been the talk of the real estate community for the past month.

The new column “The Assessor (prior names under consideration included “The Appraiser” – how cool would that be?) features a sort of factoid visual presentation of some element of regional housing each day.

Today I contributed a slice of Hamptons data, including five metrics, to focus on five towns that had the highest average sales price in the luxury section of the 1Q 2010 Hamptons/North Fork Market Overview I prepare for Prudential Douglas Elliman. However I took the towns and analyzed all the sales, not just those in the top 10% of the entire East End and compared them to the prior year quarter and prior quarter.

The idea was to take a look at a slice of the market and see how it performed. It is really a bad idea to look at individual towns for trends in that market as many attempt to do because the data sets are way too low and varied to be statistically meaningful and can be misleading. The 5 time sample size for this analysis was deemed adequate.

One thing that is clear – sales in these higher-priced towns outpaced the overall rate of sales growth suggesting that the high-end market seems to be returning to the fray. In addition, the jump in median and average sales prices do not suggest that is how prices are rising, but rather how there was a substantial shift in the mix towards high-end sales.

I’m just sayin’…

Actually I’m not saying there’s a housing recovery. We seem to be observing a return to a more reasonable mix of sales activity, rather then the substantial skew toward the lower priced market segments during 2009.

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