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By Ruth Thomas - February 14, 2017

As 2017 begins, an active year is anticipated for Hamptons real estate in both the rental and sales markets. The Villages of Quogue, Westhampton Beach, and Sag Harbor are hot spots, waterfront is always desirable, and new construction is in great demand. With inventory slowly shrinking, prices starting to rise, and interest rates about to creep up, a steady sales market is expected. The Hamptons continues to be a popular destination for those seeking an exciting and glamorous lifestyle.

Judi Desiderio of Town & Country Real Estate expects “2017 to be vastly better than 2016 in both rentals and sales, but primarily sales. In particular the high end – since the stock market closed out last year with a strong performance and is poised to do even better this year. If there were more inventory under a million, that would clearly see the most number of sales, but many of our markets are cost prohibitive. I predict we will see new ceilings in many segments. Inventory in the Hamptons is low for good product in most categories, though there are a few pockets that are over saturated and will certainly result in some great deals.” Judi exclaims, “I’m so looking forward to a fabulous year.”

Zachary and Cody Vichinsky of Bespoke Real Estate predict, “A strong year for high-end rentals and increased confidence in the high-end sales market due to a strong economic climate. The relatively low inventory on the high-end ($10M+ market) will lead to increased interest in off-market opportunities – Bespoke’s specialty. Oceanfront properties will continue to demand a high premium where further inland, pricing may soften. In new construction on the high end, developers will continue to create truly unique offerings that are built on a speculative basis, as if they were custom builds.” Zachary and Cody feel, “With a strong economic climate, the stage is set for a good year.”

Marsha Altman of Brown Harris Stevens states, “From my perspective ‘west of the canal,’ demand in the sales market has steadily increased with activity at every price point. The Villages of Quogue and Westhampton Beach have shown the strongest activity. Prices are back to historically high levels, with new records being achieved on the high end. Newly constructed homes in move-in condition are in great demand. New waterfront ‘modern’ homes are particularly popular and hard to find.” Marsha reflects, “Two of my exclusive listings closed as the top sales for 2016 – highest sale in Quogue and highest sale in Westhampton Beach – indicating an influx of high net worth investors rediscovering the area. Early 2017 promises more of the same.”

Harald Grant of Sotheby’s International Realty remarks, “We did pretty well for summer rentals in 2016. The supply of very high-end rental properties remains limited and activity will be around those in 2017. New builds, modern interiors, an uptick in truly modern/contemporary designed exterior homes, and anything waterfront are hot in the sales market. Inventory was slightly heavy in the third quarter last year, but a healthy uptick since November seems to have ‘legs.’ New construction is plentiful and exciting. Many top-end builds have really stepped up the game with incredible materials, finishes, and ingenious technologies.” Harald observes, “As inventory turns over in some segments, new builds and new listings fill the voids.”

John Healey of Sotheby’s International Realty believes, “The rental market should mirror last year’s with a small uptick in activity, but not necessarily price. The sales market should see some better strength overall. Waterfront is always popular as are great vistas. Hot spots are Bridgehampton and Sag Harbor! Inventory is shrinking a bit from the glut over the last
three quarters, while prices are equalizing with the inventory reduction. Everyone loves new construction, but it is important to be sure of the quality.” John predicts, “a steady market in 2017. We have already had an active early winter and spring is soon to be here. Real estate is a very good hedge.”

Martha Gundersen of Brown Harris Stevens notes, “The rental season began a little better than last year with people firming up their rental early. Sales will be good. There is more certainty in the political arena and the stock market and banking conditions are better. Amagansett and the Villages of Southampton, East Hampton, and Sag Harbor are getting the most interest. A lot has moved in the market up to the $6M range and the cost of vacant land or a tear down has inched higher.” Martha thinks, “The sales market will be brisk with bidding wars on homes that are well priced in great locations. People want to be here, it is a very special and beautiful place.”

Gene Gilyutin of Hampton Estates Realty observes, “The trend for rentals seems to be far less full season rentals and more weekly/monthly rentals. We’re very optimistic about the 2017 sales market. The price point around $1M is very active, at least west of the canal. As always, Quogue is hot with very little inventory in the $2M-$3M range. Quality inventory (turn-key, new construction, flipping opportunities) west of the canal is on the low side, especially under $1M. As inventory dwindles, prices will start to tick up.” Gene remarks, “It’s a positive sign that the stock market is way up. The big question is how the first few months of the presidency will affect the stock market, the economy, and consumer sentiment in general.”

Enzo Morabito of Douglas Elliman Real Estate predicts, “A better rental season compared to 2016. As for sales, there is currently a lot of inventory, which makes it a buyer’s market paired with a rising interest rate on the horizon, and we are already seeing an increased volume of activity. Homes priced just under $1M to $2.5M are very hot! Sag Harbor, Water Mill, and Bridgehampton continue to be the ‘go to’ locations, but Westhampton Beach and Hampton Bays are currently off the chart. Prices are still adjusting to accommodate the buyer’s market. Newly constructed homes remain in demand.” Enzo believes, “The 2017 real estate market looks promising! The amount of inventory lends itself to bargains! Pair this with the looming rise in interest rates and buyers are moving forward faster!”

Predictions are for a brisk sales market in the Hamptons in 2017. The Hamptons offers a chic milieu with gorgeous beaches, fabulous restaurants, and charming villages. With increased confidence in the sales market, a strong economic climate, and an influx of investors, now is the time to act quickly and discover your dream property.

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