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A strong Seller’s Market

By Kate C. Patchett - September 23, 2020

The Hamptons real estate market continues to be active as the desire to remain on the East End post-Labor Day remains strong. With a shrinking inventory as the demand continues, there is a scarcity in available properties, particularly under the $2 million range and between the $3 to 8 million range, as noted by area brokers. While the shift to moving things in a virtual direction was true for many industries, when it comes to buying properties, homeowners still want to tour homes in person when making a purchase decision on such a large investment. Consumers are exploring their options as well – looking to switch from renting to owning, or exploring the sales market for themselves.
“Since March, the focus on the Hamptons has never been greater,” shares The Corcoran Group’s licensed associate real estate broker Gary DePersia, who shares that his listing for 54 Canvasback Lane in Amagansett is a house he has built and sold three times since 2008 – a prime example of a home that has universal appeal that has not diminished over the years. “Starting with a rush for spring and summer rentals, often at prices not seen before, the emphasis turned to sales in late April and has not abated since. Inventory on the market for some time, including some properties on the market for many years, found buyers.”
The desired amenities buyers are looking for have also shifted. Compass licensed associate real estate broker Christopher Covert confirms the need for spaces that allow school and work to occur simultaneously, with extra rooms or structures to allow full-time residency, like his listing for 42 Old Noyack Path in Sag Harbor. Douglas Elliman Real Estate licensed associate real estate broker Raphael Avigdor and licensed real estate salesperson Aleksandrina Penkova, who hold the listing for 1 Fernwood Drive in Wainscott, have noted that indoor and outdoor entertaining spaces have become more desirable as the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic is still looming.
Fall in the Hamptons lends itself well to socially distanced activities. Visiting the local farm stands for pumpkins, apples, and flowers is a popular activity, and boating and fishing is very much still active. “Any outside activity that allows for social distancing will attract participants,” shares The Corcoran Group licensed associate real estate broker Mary Slattery, who holds the listing for 3 Pheasant Close South in Southampton. “I am amazed at how creative our local charities are in adapting their events accordingly. I am also extremely proud of how Hamptonites are handling the influx of people to our special community.”
As more people work to make the Hamptons their primary residence, there’s a new level of inspiration that also comes with the influx of people. Judi Desiderio, Town & Country Real Estate licensed real estate broker and chief executive officer, says the wave of renters and buyers will continue, even with inventory at an all-time low. “In speaking with so many bright energetic New Yorkers who plan to remain out east, I am excited for the new ideas and elements they will add to our communities,” says Desiderio, who has listed the impressive 10 Lari Lane on Shelter Island. “It’s like a jolt of lightning we could all enjoy.”
Hamptons real estate agents share more thoughts on the current state of the market…

HRES: Where do you see the market heading for the rest of 2020?
Gary DePersia: I see a continuation of what has been happening since the spring. I see renters staying out east longer than they expected and probably paying more than in past years. Some are even looking to commit now for next summer or year-round. I see a continuation of people looking to buy. I also see builders going back into the market in a big way to buy land and start construction in response to shrinking new home inventory.

HRES: What changes have you seen in the market throughout the course of the pandemic?
Christopher Covert: The market has seen so many changes. Not only in sheer volume and demand but, more noteworthy, in buyer attitude. We have seen a complete shift from the analytical and measured approach that we have experienced over the last several years to a very emotional purchase process. Buyers now need something, not just want something. There has been an urgency that we have not experienced in the past. It has been a rapid and dramatic transformation in how buyers approach the market.

HRES: What amenities/features are buyers most interested in right now?
Judi Desiderio: Homes with multiple places to work and learn online. The great rooms of the past have given way to more places from which to have virtual meetings while other family members are learning or working. Privacy and more nooks and crannies needed for the new world we are in.

HRES: Where do you see the market heading for the rest of 2020?
Mary Slattery: While I do not have a crystal ball, I can report an increase of inquiries for post-Labor Day through December rentals. It’s possible that we will see both rentals and sales continue to be robust through the end of this year and into 2021. I am expecting to see new sales listings enter the market after Labor Day as more homeowners begin testing the sales market.

HRES: In your experience, are buyers still looking for virtual tours vs. in-person showings of homes for sale?
Raphael Avigdor & Aleksandrina Penkova: Interestingly enough, we don’t think there will ever be a replacement for walking the actual property and home. Houses and properties here are very diverse when it comes to layouts, finishes and updates done over time. They are harder to envision than a straightforward plan of an apartment in New York City, for example. In addition, a lot of the buyers have never owned a house prior, so they have a lot of questions when it comes to how the different systems in the home work. Moreover, house tours can be done while complying with all safety guidelines, which clients and agents in the Hamptons have been very respectful of.

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