Latest News: Marketwatch

Upbeat Mood In The Hamptons

Savvy Buyers Are Finding Opportunities In Thoughtfully Priced Homes
By Rachel Bosworth - June 26, 2019

In Hamptons real estate, it’s a buyer’s market. And they know it. Inventory is widespread across the various South Fork hamlets and villages, offering more options for buyers and allowing them to be more discerning when looking to make a purchase. They want greater discounts, though sellers are not as apt to be as negotiable, despite the inventory being so high. Some find buyer and seller valuation is coming together and will hopefully lead to a bump in sales, but there are still some difficulties. 

“There is still a buyer perception that it is a buyer’s market but what buyers forget is that typically if one person is interested in a property chances are that two or three will become interested right on your heels,” shares Raphael Avigdor of Douglas Elliman. “This is the nature of the market. If you concluded this house is the best deal, so will others.” 

Some sellers are pricing their properties to move, which buyers will jump on for the chance to take advantage of a discount. Wealthier buyers are also taking advantage of opportunities in the best and most coveted Hamptons locations. Smart buyers are buying, driven by opportunity. Halstead’s John Scott Thomas has found a pickup in activity in recent weeks with financial markets at higher levels. Newly listed homes and those that have recently changed hands are priced more thoughtfully as well. 

While inventory is plentiful in some respects, in terms of price range it can be scarce. Real estate agents are finding the $1 million to $3 million range for inventory is low, particularly for new or well-maintained homes. Buyers are shying away from projects, looking for turnkey properties that allow them to immediately maximize their time out east. Corcoran’s Mary Slattery finds that any properties in this lower price point that meets the buyer’s needs are snapped up quickly by those that are savvy. When it comes to new homes, modern remains popular among builders. 

Clean lines, natural light, cool materials like tile and lighting, and open living spaces are what make modern homes more in demand according to Martha Gundersen of Brown Harris Stevens. “Waterfront properties have dictated modern front homes due to FEMA regulations,” she adds. “Beautiful modern furniture and building materials have gotten more affordable and the look is sleek and inviting.” 

South of the Highway properties are ones that agents agree have the best resale value at the moment, and may have a greater increase in appreciation as the market comes back. Waterfront and water view properties and those with water access are especially sought-after, as is often the case when discussing Hamptons real estate. “Larger properties and properties with water or field views and near villages do best for resale,” add Frank and Dawn Bodenchak of Sotheby’s International Realty. “It doesn’t matter which hamlet. The type of property matters more.” 

As we head well into the summer months, real estate agents share their thoughts with HRES on all aspects of what drives the Hamptons real estate market forward.

The Avigdor/Penkova Team, Douglas Elliman Real Estate

HRES: Modern homes seem to be popular among builders and buyers, why do you think that is? 
A/P: It’s a fresh look and like any fashion there are trends that take hold. From a builder’s perspective, it’s just easier to build a box whereas the traditional roof lines of typical classic shingle construction are more tricky, harder to execute and thus, more expensive to build. The dip in the selling prices coupled with increases in construction costs and land costs might be influencing builders to build simpler designs.

Frank and Dawn Bodenchak, 
Sotheby’s International Realty

HRES: How does the mood of the Hamptons housing market differ from last year at this time? 

FDB: More buyers are on the sidelines. The sentiment is overly cautious. It’s more reflective of last year’s New York City’s price declines than forward prospects in the Hamptons. With land availability next-to-nothing and construction costs way up, new houses currently on the market won’t be able to be built again for the same price. Among better priced, new homes, there is a buying opportunity that may be tough to find again.

 John Scott Thomas, Halstead

HRES: In what price range is inventory scarcest right now? 

JST: There is plenty of inventory in every price range. However, I would say that in the $1.5 million to $3 million range especially, there is a scarcity of quality inventory that is either new or has been well-maintained, or updated along with appropriate pricing. Buyers who are reluctant to take on a project and/or lack the liquidity to renovate after they purchase are finding very little that is appealing to them.

Martha Gundersen, Brown Harris Stevens 

HRES: What areas in the Hamptons have the best resale value at the moment? 

MG: I think the areas that have the best resale value is anything South of the Highway in East Hampton, Amagansett, and Bridgehampton. All these areas have access to the beaches, restaurants, villages, transportation, social amenities and beautiful homes and gardens. Prices have come down to a realistic number and the quality of life is so great. Buyers are looking to spend $3 to $4.5 million on one-acre lots South of the Highway. Amagansett Lanes and Sag Harbor are popular.

Mary Slattery, The Corcoran Group

HRES: How does the mood of the Hamptons housing market differ from last year at this time? 

MS: The mood in the market at the start of summer is always more positive. The Hamptons shine in the summer and properties are at their best. I think the mood is oddly more upbeat than last year with buyers encouraged by negative market news and the hope that sellers are desperate. The reality is usually different than expectations. But more folks looking means more sales potentially. I am hopeful for a good selling season with fall closings.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.