CPF growth shows strong real estate market on Shelter Island

REPORTER FILE PHOTO Real estate sales spiked in the first quarter of this year over last year's numbers.

REPORTER FILE PHOTO Real estate sales on Shelter Island spiked in the first quarter of this year over last year’s numbers.

Shelter Island Community Preservation Fund numbers that struggled through the first three quarters of 2014 to show an increase over the previous year, are 50 percent higher in the first four months of this year, according to Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor). CPF revenue comes from a 2-percent tax buyers pay to purchase property in the five East End towns. The money is then used to purchase and preserve open spaces from development by the individual towns. Shelter Island’s take in the first quarter of 2015 has been $810,000, up from $540,000 for the same period in 2014. Riverhead and Southampton saw declines. In Riverhead, it was a significant 35 percent drop from last year, but   in Southampton, the drop was only 2.4 percent, from $18.5 million to $18 million. Southold showed a 35.6 percent increase, from $1.32 million for the first four months of last year to $1.8 million for that period this year. East Hampton was up by 10.2 percent from $8 million to $8.8 million. Overall, the East End towns took in $30. million, 2.2 percent higher then they received in the first four months of 2014. The number of real estate transactions for the first four months was up slightly, from 2,336 last year to 2,347 this year. Given that 2014 saw the fund’s highest revenues and the early trend portends even better numbers this year, Mr. Thiele said it “reflects the continued strength in East End real estate and the continued availability to local towns of the necessary revenues to protect community character.” The 2-percent tax is due to expire in 2030 unless it is extended.