With the arrival of Memorial Day weekend in the Hamptons, the unofficial start to summer is upon us. While some of us have been here all winter and spring, enjoying cooler temperatures and less traffic, others have just returned from Palm Beach (including Behind The Hedges magazine!). We thought this was the perfect time to check in on the Hamptons market. Last summer, the market showed signs of slowing down after the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve all seen the headlines on the economy and news that sales and even prices are on the decline. But what are the experiences of some of the best of the best in Hamptons real estate?
The Atlantic Team
Our team has experienced continued strength in transactions despite limited sale inventory. Our fine-tuned sales pricing has been critical in driving continued buyer demand and helps us to move most listings in time for summer. A house priced to perfection is often still sold in weeks not months, sometimes with multiple bids over ask. Oftentimes we are seeing many buyers rush in to secure a good deal. Sales prices have remained intact, plateauing but certainly not moving down. We continue to encourage our clients to list while momentum is still in our seasonal favor. The good news for buyers is the inventory is starting to come online and for the first time in years a buyer can look around at various options and not feel the pressure to move as quickly. The Hamptons are clearly still the spot everyone wants to be, and there is nothing wrong with some breathing room for everyone to find their perfect home or upgrade property.
How’s the market? Stubborn! Buyers are waiting for the market to crash, and sellers think it will come roaring back. In this market, sellers are harder to come by, as the benefits of real estate’s value against inflation, coupled with super-low borrowing rates make so many unwilling to part with their assets. Buyers still outnumber sellers 5-1, but we’re seeing that they’re not willing to overpay just because inventory is so low. The law of supply and demand is looking more like just a suggestion these days! It’s possible that the soft rental market might prompt some owners to sell if they don’t rent this summer. But rentals are starting to fill up a little as rental prices are coming down in comparison to previous years.
I think we are certainly experiencing a return to a more “normal” market cycle. That is, once we get into April and May, things can get quiet as our clientele has, for the most part, settled their plans for summer — whether as buyers or renters — and families become distracted with other things at the end of the school year. And currently there is absolutely no urgency in this market. The lack of inventory continues to slow transactional volume to a crawl but is also keeping pressure on pricing. The biggest immediate concern I see is the debt ceiling. I am not 100% sure that Congress won’t use the nuclear option this year, and until we have resolve I think there will be continued hesitancy in our marketplace.
Brown Harris Stevens
Coming off a busy winter season and looking forward to the summer of 2023, there is still significant buyer demand to find a Hamptons home across all price points. While we have seen inventory increase ever so slightly over the last few weeks, the lack of available homes on the market continues to slow the sales process. As for sellers, it is all about education of the market to price a property correctly for sale. No one is going to pay a premium at this point; however, buyers will move quickly if a property is priced right. Most buyers still want a turnkey/move-in experience — another challenge when many properties coming to market need updating. Interest rates and market conditions do not seem to significantly concern buyers on the East End. It is all about finding the perfect Hamptons home. Let’s hope more product continues to come to the marketplace — there are plenty of interested buyers! And if you or someone you know would like to sell their home, please reach out to me.
The Corcoran Group
While the pandemic brought an unprecedented frenzy to our region a few years ago, the Hamptons real estate market is very much alive and well. Inventory is at an all-time low, while demand is strong. Sellers are not in any rush to sell homes they may have recently bought or refinanced at historically low interest rates, and savvy buyers know that Hamptons real estate is a great place to invest for the long term. They understand that due to the East End’s rich history, beautiful properties, proximity to a global financial center, and lifestyle available to residents, our region will always be highly desired. The combination of these factors is keep- ing prices buoyant, and brokers scrambling to find the right property for buyers (many times off-market). My team has been able to find the right deals for our clients, both buyers and sellers, and we are off to a great start to the season.
Cee Jack Team
The market was dead mid-winter, but it’s starting to heat up again with the season change. Our team did about 40 rentals this year, which is pretty close to the COVID numbers too for reference. Also, no one is taking a 50% discount and it’s hard to quantify that as most houses go through a series of reductions throughout the year. So no one will take 50% off the current ask, but if it was reduced 25% or 35% from the original ask then I can see it equaling 50%. On the flip side, I just closed two rentals at full price, so it really just depends on the customer’s style of negotiation coupled with the landlord’s discretion to rent. I have several landlords who would rather use their house if they don’t rent. Prices were inflated on the higher end, but the mid-level and lower range were pretty close to pre-COVID numbers — maybe they were 10% higher.
This article appeared in Behind The Hedges’ May 2023 issue over Memorial Day weekend. Read the full digital edition online.