Young Renters Surging to the East End

The Hamptons is no real estate secret. People of all ages from all over the world come here to soak up the summer sun on our sandy beaches, falling asleep to the soft roar of the Atlantic Ocean.

However, over the past few years Montauk and Amagansett have become the new summer hot spots on the South Fork.

“Folks are going further east—to Amagansett, Montauk,” says Ernie Cervi, Executive Managing Director of the Corcoran Group’s Bridgehampton office. “There is new life to those areas, so it’s attracting another group of people.”

It’s the younger generation that’s flocking to Montauk, aptly called “The End.” Montauk is renewed, rejuvenated with a fresh, hip nighttime atmosphere.

These new night retreats, such as Ruschmeyer’s, the Surf Lodge and the Sloppy Tuna are driving the youth all the way out to where Montauk Highway ends.

“We’ve been getting a lot of calls for Amagansett this year,” says Jeff Steinhorst, vice president of Nest Seekers International. “We have three calls for Amagansett for every one for another area.”

A few years ago many youths may not have even known how to pronounce Amagansett, no less spell it, but now the town is busier than ever in the summer months. Steinhorst explains the real estate logic behind this move is Amagansett’s inviting appeal and its location, location, location—being near Montauk without being in Montauk, and the price can’t be beat.

Just like any other renting group, the younger set wants “to be close to the East Hampton beaches, dining, shopping,” Steinhorst says, “but have the access to the nightlife in Montauk.”

East Hampton is attractive to people of all ages. Its main street is chic, its beaches world renowned and its relatively close proximity to Montauk Point is a huge renting chip. Still, the price may be too steep for some. Amagansett is the perfect middle ground “far out east.”

The western hamlets and villages like Quogue, Westhampton and Westhampton Beach, despite their proximity to the ocean and Dune Road, are more family oriented, more designed to fit a family of four than a group of four in their twenties who want to spend a night out on the town.

Real estate agents and brokers say that more and more landlords are now offering short-term leases, making it easier for this new demographic to rent. These one-month or even one-week leases became popular in the wake of the recession, among people who felt they couldn’t afford the entire
summer season.

Though these short leases are more of a headache for landlords, requiring more cleaning and preparation between tenants, brokers and real estate agents acknowledge that short-term leases can be more lucrative for landlords. Those willing to gamble on monthly, or even weekly leases, are often able to earn more for June, July and August separately than they would for the entire summer.

That’s an attractive option given that prices have remained steady over last year.

“Pricing is about the same. We’ve been telling landlords that if you rented your house for X last year then you should probably list it for X again this year,” Cervi says. “If they make a mistake, there will be a bidding war.”

Several brokers and landlords attribute a surge of “early action” to Superstorm Sandy. The Hamptons didn’t suffer as much heavy damage as other coastal vacation communities within driving distance of
the city,

“We’re getting a lot more people because of Sandy. People from other beach communities, from Long Beach, from New Jersey,” Cervi says. “These people are new to the area. They may not be renting for the whole season, but they’re out to test-drive
the Hamptons.”

Like last year, the Hamptons rental season kicked off early. Mild temperatures led to interested renters coming out on weekends and even during the week. Brokers and landlords are preparing for a very busy season on the far East End.

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