Real Estate Roundtable: What Does Rise in Mortgage Debt Mean for the Hamptons?

The real estate market on the East End is like no other in the country. From the unique properties offered across the North and South Forks to the particular factors that move the markets here, understanding East End real estate requires a true insider perspective. Where can you find that perspective? Right here. Every week, we turn to a virtual roundtable of experts in East End real estate for their insights into developing trends, their knowledge about national real estate news influencing the local market and their thoughts on buying and selling.

Home mortgage debt rose in the third quarter of 2013 for the first time since the end of 2008, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve. What does this indicate for the Hamptons housing market?

“The increase in the home mortgage debt is a very positive sign for our housing market. Although the Federal Reserve has been adding to the money supply in record numbers, prior to the third quarter it had not translated to an increase in home mortgages. This will especially aid the middle market which has lagged behind both the high and low end, which requires less or in some cases, no financing.” —Alan Schnurman, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Saunders and Associates

“Home mortgage debt rising is generally a good sign for the housing market. During tough times in the housing market, many more buyers are all cash and we are beginning to see a change as normal service is resumed. The Hamptons market continues to improve and Q3 saw an increase in both number of sales at 31%, and sales over $5 million increase by 54%, and we expect to see this continue as new inventory and an increase in newly developed properties arrive on the market to replace the inventory that had been somewhat stagnating.” —Maz Crotty, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, Nest Seekers

“Housing is back as a solid investment, as demonstrated by buyers leveraging other people’s money to buy again. This means that purchasers expect housing to appreciate because they are taking on debt to get into the game. So, expect expansion and growth to be in store for the Hamptons housing market in 2014. Now is when real estate in the Hamptons should be fun again.” —Andrew M. Lieb, Esq, MPH, Lieb at Law, P.C.

“Obviously, banks are loosening up on lending in the United States according to this report from the Fed. However, the Hamptons are a unique microcosm and what happens in the rest of the country doesn’t necessarily correlate to us. It has been my experience that the homes under a million are hot and many of those buyers are obtaining financing. However, I still see all cash deals taking place in the higher price points.” —John Christopher, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Brown Harris Stevens

“I’m not Ben Bernanke or Janet Yellen but I don’t think the small adjustment in interest rates will affect our sales. Money is still inexpensive for now and buyers will take advantage of cheap money.” —Lynn November, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Douglas Elliman Real Estate

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