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Marketwatch: Success of Summer

Reflecting on the busiest time of year in the Hamptons, local real estate agents report that the summer real estate market varied in terms of location, price, and what buyers were looking for. Any agent in the know will share that pricing is essential in a market with a lot of inventory, both for buyers and sellers. If you’re looking to sell, price it right. If you’re looking for a good deal and you find one, don’t wait to make an offer as someone else is likely to see the same value and make a move of their own. There seems to be no one particular area that is doing better than others in the Hamptons. Sales are based more on pricing rather than location. It was a trend in the local market for the entire year thus far and does not show any signs of changing at the moment.
“Where others see volatility and uncertainty, I see definite opportunity especially at the various price points,” Robert Canberg, Compass licensed associate real estate broker, says of the current state of the market. “This market now continues to make adjustments and the motivated sellers that are priced competitively are selling. However, for those sellers who are not priced correctly it’s another story.”
For the summer market specifically, Corcoran licensed associate real estate broker Tim Davis found good activity and a number of contracts and transactions were executed. Fall activity may slow, but he expects a strong fourth quarter with sales volume in the region. Sotheby’s International Realty associate broker and senior global real estate advisor Pat Petrillo shares the summer market was a good one, full of confidence and excitement. While there were few transactions at $30+ million, there were many in the $10 to 20 million range. As a luxury market, the Hamptons draws a particular type of buyer.
“In my business, I’ve seen a growing trend in European buyers,” shares Douglas Elliman licensed associate real estate broker Michaela Keszler. “Specifically, with Germans, British and French customers. But still also with Americans, of course.”
It is interesting to note where buyers are coming from based on the work of different agents. While Keszler has found an increase in buyers from Europe, Canberg has found more luxury buyers coming from other luxury markets, like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Aspen and Miami. Davis has also found a mix of both.
While the Hamptons real estate market this past summer was a success for some, others have noticed that it’s been a bit slower than years past with buyers becoming more uncertain and nervous. “Unlike past downturns when the phones stopped ringing and calls went unanswered, throughout the present ‘slowdown,’ buyers remain actively looking, but they are not buying,” finds Hamptons Realty Group licensed principal real estate broker Htun Han. “Speaking for myself, I have been busy showing but not busy selling.”
There are just a few short months left in the year for Hamptons real estate agents to finish up one season as they prepare for the next. While winter may be quiet for the location population, agents will be busy preparing for the next summer season of sales and rentals, getting buyers and renters in place for Memorial Day. Agents share their views on the past year and what’s to come.

HRES: What are your thoughts on the current state of the market?
Tim Davis: The market is active. In our most prime locations there is limited inventory. There are plenty of buyers in the marketplace waiting in the wings for new inventory or buying opportunities with properties currently on the market for sale. If a property is not sold within 30 to 60 days if listed for sale during peak season, pricing generally adjusts. Though our buyer pool correlates directly with New York and buyer pool of those in finance, the New York City real estate market is very different from the Hamptons market.

HRES: Where are the majority of luxury buyers coming from?
Pat Petrillo: It’s interesting that my last three transactions, all occurring in the last six weeks, have been done by purchasers who already own houses on the East End. In fact, each of those three buyers have owned two previous homes and are now buying their third. I think that tells you a lot. These are buyers that are not new to the area; they’re educated to pricing, trends, comparable offerings and fluctuations in the market. They have good instincts and have chosen this moment to buy.

HRES: What’s the current sweet spot?
Robert Canberg: Price point wise, it is our $1 to 5 million price range for sure, whether you are east or west of the canal. Priced right, it goes! If you are talking most desirable — it’s waterfront! Any waterfront for the most part, especially ocean and Bayfront, is still in high demand. Everyone loves the opportunities and the summer lifestyle that luxurious waterfront properties offer.

HRES: How did the market fare this past summer?
Michaela Keszler: I was busy with buyers and sold a lot of my listing inventory, too. I saw the most interest and activity with those who want to leave the rental market and with buyers from out of the country looking to either purchase their first American home or upgrade. The market is active in all price ranges and areas and the quickest moving properties, in all areas of the market, are those that are correctly priced.

HRES: What advice would you give a buyer in this current market?
Htun Han: If you’re thinking of making money from a flip, forget about it. But if you are looking to own long-term, what are you waiting for? Inventory is great, prices are even better. Starter homes and any homes under $2,000,000 that are well-priced are the current sweet spot. Pick the broker who knows the area and the local market, and whom you trust, and come pick your dream house!