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Montauk Marketwatch

It's A Buyers Market, But Prices Remain Steady
By Rachel Bosworth - June 26, 2019

Perhaps the most diverse and unique real estate market on the East End, Montauk may not be immune to the various factors determining what will – and won’t – make a property move, though it’s often moving at its own pace. Just like its weather, certain areas are more robust and experiencing an uptick in sales, while others are moving at a slower rate, depending on location, style, and value. As the buyer’s market remains strong in the Hamptons, local agents discuss what they’re seeing for the area in 2019. 

In a place like Montauk, close proximity to the water is one of the driving sales factors. Beach communities in particular, like Hither Hills, Ditch Plains, and Culloden Shores have become highly desired according to real estate agents working in the area. Joan Hegner, a licensed associate broker with Corcoran, has also found longtime renters have made moves to purchase as interest rates and taxes are on the lower side. The $1.5 million and under price has been particularly strong, while $2 million and higher has slowed. 

“We have numerous other locales, styles, and various price points, which have seen lingering and rising inventory, giving owners a reality check of the more competitive market trends,” Hegner, who has been in the business for 40 years, explains, adding serious and motivated sellers in this buyer-driven market will see action. “We are now seeing widespread price adjustments to hopefully refuel the sales activity in those sectors.” 

Compass licensed real estate salesperson, Casey Staubitser, also finds beach communities to be the next hottest thing, citing the location of these desirable neighborhoods not only being close to the water, but also close to restaurants and shops. There’s a real opportunity to enjoy the coveted waterfront along with privacy. 

Staubitser finds the Montauk real estate market picking up, seeing a lot of fun new inventory becoming available. As for what’s attracting buyers, it’s all about the deal. “Buyers are looking for good deals,” she shares. “Either renovation projects in the more desirable beach communities of Montauk or turn-key homes, especially ones with a more modern look and feel.” 

Properties priced correctly are the ones that will move in a buyer’s market. There are more options across various price points, allowing potential buyers to take more time deciding with the large inventory selection, though any agent will certainly recommend making a move if you find your dream home. Saunders licensed real estate salespersons Chris Coleman and Kellie O’Kunewicz agree that water views are a prime determining factor in Montauk properties, compared to other Hamptons villages and hamlets where the traditional or modern design is what draws in buyers. 

“We’re not immune to the rest of what’s going on in the Hamptons or tristate area,” Coleman says. “The number of transactions may be down in Montauk, but prices haven’t fallen like the rest of the Hamptons yet. It’s choppy at best. There is business being done but it’s not as fluid as it has been. But with that said, there have been some significant sales.” 

O’Kunewicz adds, “There’s so much on the market and a lot for people to look at. It’s spotty because there are things that people just want to have and are willing to pay for.” 

Some have found Montauk to be going through a renaissance with high profile places anchoring the beach community that has an eclectic mix of upscale restaurants, shops, and events with more casual and adventurous offerings like fishing, kitesurfing, and swimming. Corcoran licensed associate real estate broker Gary DePersia has a strong focus on waterfront properties and has found his Montauk listings have been getting much attention. He notes that this different type of Hamptons experience is already being capitalized on. 

“I’m always amazed when people talk about Montauk and the places they go, and how popular and busy it’s getting,” DePersia says. “There are all of these cool places that have been redone and reimagined. There are also the mainstays. It’s really great. There’s a lot of interest and activity here.” 

From those looking to live a simple seaside life in a cottage to luxury oceanfront estate dwellers, the Montauk real estate market is plentiful. Inventory is high and buyers are looking, but taking their time. It will be an interesting season as summer draws in the crowds. 

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