With the winter and spring behind us, the Hamptons‘ summer season is heating up, and all predictions indicate that East End real estate will once again be sizzling.
The industry appears to be back to business, as the bulkheads and pilings inside the elusive strata of housing stock strengthen, property values climb and summer rentals appear to be in short supply, as many Hamptons summer-ites locked up their desired summer locales this offseason.
On the North and South Forks of Long Island, the postcard-esque shoreline towns were comparatively spared from last autumn’s harsh superstorm Sandy, and they have resurfaced resiliently from the housing market crash six years ago. With the unique charms of the East End remaining as alluring as ever, local real estate experts share their thoughts for the season.
“The Hamptons is recognized worldwide for its beaches, horse shows, fashion, art festivals and its quaint villages,” tells Judi Desiderio, the founder of Town and Country Real Estate.
“For Hamptons clients it’s all about lifestyle,” says Beau Thomas Hulse, owner of Beau Hulse Realty Group in Southampton. “Buyers are pulling the trigger on properties they want.”
Still, there are a few deals waiting to be had for prospective buyers who don’t require fur vaults, wine caves, home theater, a waterfront oasis or an ideal locale in town. But the pickings are swiftly becoming thinner by the day.
“High end, low end and everything is between, real estate professionals across the East End agree that the market is hot,” says Cathy Dransfield, a broker with Saunders and Associates.
“The Hamptons market right now is just extraordinary,” tells Enzo Morabito, associate broker with Douglas Elliman Real Estate, who serves both sides of the canal. “There is especially a lot of people going to and renting in Westhampton Beach. You can’t beat Westhampton Beach for the money.”
“Westhampton Beach and its environment are hotter than ever,” informs Marcia Altman, Senior Director/Associate Broker, Brown Harris Stevens of the Hamptons. “It’s a town from a picture postcard with a Main Street with cool shops and the Performing Arts Center, and you can avoid those heavy traffic delays east of the canal.”
“If this current trend is any indicator, 2013 will be a very strong year for the real estate market,” says Mala Sander, Corcoran Group Senior Vice President, Associate Broker.
“We are extremely optimistic with the surge in 2013 rentals…there is consumer confidence in both the rental and sales markets,” tells Harald Grant, a senior vice president of Sotheby’s International Realty, citing an exquisite oceanfront house in Southampton that rented for $550,000 for the month of August alone.
“The rentals have mainly been from Memorial Day to Labor Day with a few doing one month or two weeks,” informs Jan Nelson, licensed sales associate with Douglas Elliman. “We have had more single people in their 20–30s renting than in the past, couples are sharing houses and bumping up in price to get higher-end rentals.”
“[The] high-end rental market is very strong and very little inventory,” tells Susan Breitenbach, a top broker with Corcoran. “Outdoor living spaces are more important than ever. People are asking for outdoor dining, kitchens, fireplaces, pergolas and firepits.”
Which Towns Are Hot?
“I feel Sag Harbor is still your best investment,” tells John Christopher Senior Director/Associate Broker with Brown Harris Stevens. “I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, that once the Watchcase Factory project is completed, the real estate landscape is going to change immensely.”
“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.”
“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. People want to be close to the East Hampton beaches, dining, shopping, but have the access to the nightlife in Montauk.”
“Anytime you get near a village, it’s hot. Southampton is hot. Sag Harbor is hot. Bridgehampton is hot,” says Morabito. “It’s in the village area where people can walk. It eliminates having to have a car.”
On the North Fork
“New Suffolk has seen quite a bit of activity on the North Fork,” tells Morabito. “Getting closer to the water there, we’ve had come properties go quickly.”
“The North Fork is known for its field-to-table fine dining, wide open vistas, great sunsets and vineyards,” says Desiderio. “There seems to be more cross pollination between the Forks than ever before.”