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Island sees first boost in CPF money

Reporter File Photo Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. released CPF numbers reflecting a turnaround for Shelter Island.
Reporter File Photo
Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. released CPF numbers reflecting a turnaround for Shelter Island.

The turnaround that Shelter Island real estate professionals have been projecting for months has finally occurred.

While all other East End Towns saw increases in their Community Preservation Fund revenues — money resulting from a 2 percent tax buyers pay for property purchases in Suffolk County — Shelter Island’s CPF funds continued showing a downturn from 2013.But in the most recent numbers released by Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor), Shelter Island now shows a 5.4 percent increase in CPF money with $1.76 million for the first 10 months of 2014 as compared with $1.67 million for the same period last year.

The town’s CPF funds still lag in percentages from other East End towns, but until now, they have reflected a negative while the other municipalities were all in the black.

Real estate professionals who began commenting on the poor numbers last spring said there were many properties here in contract they expected to see close. But by the end of August, Shelter Island CPF money was 0.7 percent less here than it had been in the same period of 2013. Yet the rest of the East End reflected increases of between 1.9 percent reported for East Hampton to 43.8 percent in Riverhead.

Still, most pros insisted that while deals had been slow to close, they anticipated the turnaround would occur before year’s end.

The only dissenting voice came from Melina Wein in October who said she hadn’t seen “a flurry of activity” in the market in the past few months. But even she said she thought the stock market recovery would lead to more people wanting to diversify their portfolios. That could lead to better numbers for the real estate market by early 2015, she said.

Mr. Thiele’s numbers  until now failed to reflect the optimism of other realtors on the Island, but his new numbers covering the period ended October 31, beat Ms. Wein’s expectations.

Some might find irony in the fact that in 2013, Shelter Island’s CPF percentages exceeded those of the other East End towns. They were up 94 percent by the end of the third quarter of 2013 over the numbers for the same period in 2012.