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Hamptons Marketwatch

2018 PROMISES TO BE THE BEST MARKET IN YEARS
By Ruth Thomas - February 9, 2018

As 2018 begins, a strong year is predicted for the Hamptons real estate market. Summer rental inquiries are on course and sales are off to a great start. The most active segment is under $5M and the most popular areas are West of the Canal, Sag Harbor, and Southampton. Prices are stable, inventory is slowly decreasing, and new construction is in demand. People will always seek out the Hamptons for its beautiful beaches, picturesque villages, trendy restaurants, and fashionable boutiques.

Judi Desiderio of Town & Country Real Estate says, “Town & Country has written more leases this winter than the past few years. 2017 was a great year for sales at Town & Country. The most active segment is $1M-$3.5M!! New construction ‘must-haves’ continue to dazzle and amaze even the most sophisticated buyer.” Judi predicts, “This year should be one of the best markets than in recent years – the stock markets closed 2017 up 25% and the new tax codes reduce corporate tax rates from 35% to 21% – that means more cash to invest. And what better to invest in than East End dirt!”

Enzo Morabito of Douglas Elliman Real Estate predicts “a very good rental season for 2018 with the tremendous amount of rental inquiries already. There are 10 sales contracts wrapping up from 2017. West of the Canal is doing very well while Sag Harbor, Southampton, and The Springs in East Hampton are popular. The lower end, $700K-$3M, is through the roof! Inventory is very low for good homes and prices are at best lateral and not going up. There are bidding wars on turnkey inventory priced right! New construction is in high demand West of the Canal.” Enzo remarks, “The stock market has generated $6 trillion more than before! We could have a really good season if confidence holds up!”

Maria Cunneen of Compass says, “The rental market has seen a welcomed change for this upcoming season with several rentals already secured for 2018. Properties over $2,500,000 were the most active sales segment last year, notably the waterfront homes. East Quogue, Quogue, and Westhampton Beach enjoyed an uptick in sales with Hampton Bays, yet again seeing the most number of sales in 2017. Much of the inventory is clearing with new homes now coming to market. New construction has ample inventory.” Maria thinks, “The changes in interest rates, property taxes, and SALT may flatten sales a bit, still too early to call, but buyers continue to look for investment, vacation, and primary residences offering value with a watchful eye.”

James Peyton of The Corcoran Group says, “The rental market seems to be on the same pace as last year. Serious tenants have already locked up their desired properties. The fourth quarter sales numbers will prove to be strong, while the first quarter is seeing robust demand. Older homes from $1M-$2M are in consistent demand from Southampton to East Hampton. Prices are very stable and inventory seems to be at a low point. Everything of value priced correctly has been combed over, especially within close proximity to the villages. New construction offerings North of the highway are very exciting.” James believes, “All signs point to another successful season in the Hamptons. Each year, more people discover the beauty of the East End!”

Deborah Srb of Sotheby’s International Realty has been “pleasantly surprised by the rental traffic thus far. As for sales, Sotheby’s already has a $40M, $36M, and $32M property in contract. There are some deals in contract under $5M as well. Sag Harbor continues to be on fire. In December, I was involved in a 4-way bidding war on a .25-acre lot listed for $850K and it went into contract for over $100K over ask. Otherwise prices have mostly stabilized for now. Premiums are being paid for good location and new construction though.” Deborah notes, “Even though we face some uncertainty regarding the new tax bill’s effect on everyone’s bottom line, the Hamptons continues to be sought after for its beauty and lifestyle.”

Christopher Burnside of Brown Harris Stevens says, “The Hamptons is fueled by rentals. Several of my rental customers have decided to renew their leases at the same prices. Others are waiting for deals which will happen as the season starts to unfold. Sales are off to a great start. 2018 seems to be a great time to buy and sell as all parties seem motivated. All the A+ properties are always active and the $4M-$6M market is hot along with new construction. I think prices will be the same as last year with plenty of inventory in all price ranges. New construction is always the leader.” Chris believes, “We are off to a good start and it will be getting better.”

Geoff Gifkins of Nest Seekers International says, “Rental leases for the 2018 season started very early, spurred by the early push for the PGA tour rentals. We had an increase in sales in the final quarter of 2017 thus finishing the year robustly. Sales inquiries, showings, and negotiations have been very strong in 2018. Inventory is slowly decreasing as sales increase; however, it is still a buyer’s market with inventory levels well exceeding the present demand. We expect inventory levels to reduce further this year. New construction has been steady.” Geoff believes, “This year will be one of the strongest and all the indicators are there, from web traffic increase, number of sold properties, to share market levels.”

Susan Breitenbach of The Corcoran Group says, “Rentals are just starting, but are on course for this time of year. I’ve had a lot of inquiries earlier than previous years. Sales are starting strong – as strong as last year if not stronger. The market is very busy under $5M and anything priced to sell. Prices are stable and will be on the rise again once inventory starts to deplete. New construction is very popular with plenty of good value and inventory – it’s a good time to buy!” Susan reflects, “It’s looking good for a strong Hamptons real estate market in 2018. The stock market is at all-time highs and people are feeling good about buying and owning Hamptons real estate.”

As the Hamptons continues to draw people to its famed shores, all signs point to another successful real estate season in 2018. The allure of magnificent beaches, elegant dining, and a vibrant lifestyle is the essence of the Hamptons. Now is a good time to buy, before inventory further decreases and prices begin to rise again. The Hamptons will always be an ideal destination.

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