Top East End Agents Weigh in on the State of the Hamptons Market
The Hamptons “season” changed completely during the pandemic. As New Yorkers and urbanites began to work remotely and experienced lockdowns, the space and scenery they often seek in the summer became a year-round desire. Such was the case for Jimmy Fallon, for example. While the world is slowly but surely inching toward a new normal one vaccination at a time, people are still rethinking what they want in primary residences and second homes. Needless to say, Hamptons real estate is hopping.
To give insight on the state of the market in this affluent coastal area, top East End agents are answering all of HC&G‘s questions.
What are buyers asking for the most?
“Homes that are move-in ready, or close to it. Buyers want to get in immediately.” — Susan Penzner, Saunders
“My buyers are looking for value—and that can be a challenge in today’s market.” — Michael Schultz, The Corcoran Group
Where has demand changed noticeably?
“North of the highway in Water Mill. We are seeing record prices for new construction, especially homes on farm reserves.”
—Matthew Breitenbach, Compass
“Ultimately, it’s not about the area as much as it’s about what’s available and what’s turnkey. If there’s a great property that’s priced right, buyers will come.”
— Enzo Morabito, Douglas Elliman
How has the rental market changed within the past year?
“Prior to last year, there were four straight years of declining sales, which resulted in lots of sales inventory being rented when the pandemic hit. Now, a year later, we have low rental inventory because many of those rentals ended up selling last summer.”
— Michael Schultz, The Corcoran Group
“More owners were open to putting their homes back on the rental market this summer, but they went extremely quickly and at similarly high rates as last year.”
— Susan Penzner, Saunders
How much above ask should a buyer be prepared to pay?
“If a property is properly priced at market value, it typically goes for 5 to 10 percent over ask.” — Enzo Morabito, Douglas Elliman
“New construction is seeing a lot of bidding wars, so buyers should be prepared to go above ask, especially if a home is priced right.” — Matthew Breitenbach, Compass
Some analysts say the seller’s market is at its peak. Should buyers wait it out?
“Not all properties that are selling right now will hold their value in the coming years, so buyers should be careful and only invest in the special properties that will.” — Susan Penzner, Saunders
“We know there will be a market correction, but we don’t know when it will come. And there’s always value out there—you just have to look for it.” — Michael Schultz, The Corcoran Group
“Buyers should stay in the game and be ready for an opportunity. It’s a great time to buy as long as you are strategic and understand pricing. Lately, I have been finding my clients off-market deals, as it saves them from the headache of bidding wars.” — Matthew Breitenbach, Compass
What should sellers keep in mind at this point?
“Overpricing has never worked, and it still doesn’t, because there’s nowhere to go but down. If you price properly, you can always work your way up in the event of a bidding war.” — Enzo Morabito, Douglas Elliman
“If you price a home right, it will sell quickly. Otherwise, you run the risk of it going stale and missing out on a very active marketplace.” — Matthew Breitenbach, Compass
What should buyers keep in mind right now?
“Always buy in the best location possible. When there’s a market correction, desirable locations bounce back the fastest.” — Michael Schultz, The Corcoran Group
“If you love a house, step up to the plate.” — Susan Penzner, Saunders
“Be prepared. Get preapproved for a mortgage, engage an experienced broker, and have a good real estate attorney at the ready. The market is moving faster than ever, and you need every advantage.”— Enzo Morabito, Douglas Elliman
With a rich history reaching from holding ship captain’s homes in the 19th century to celebrity getaways and more, the Hamptons continues to evolve. Now more than ever, the area’s natural beauty, lively social scene, and lavish homes keep buyers coming back for more.