The Hamptons Rental Market in February 2022

Million Dollar Ocean front homes
Summer oceanfront mansions peek over the dunes at Coopers Beach in Southampton.

While the 2022 sales market is not predicted to be as robust as we have seen in recent years, buyers who are looking at owning property in the Hamptons long term, who still have not secured their perfect Hamptons home, started picking up the phone after the New Year to call their brokers. Understanding that they may not find “the one” before summer 2022, they are now interested in renting. We anticipate more of these phone calls in the coming months.

It is impossible to know the number of rentals available or the true rental activity because of local listing database issues and the common practice of open rentals, which have a dedicated listing agent at each firm, but no single agent as a point of accountability regarding the listing information.

Unlike exclusive listings, which are inputted and managed by the exclusive listing broker and then shared via a data feed to other firms for co-brokering, open listings have a different version of the same listing at each firm, that often have different pictures and can even have different available periods and pricing, depending on when a particular agent last checked in with the landlord. Exclusive rentals are a great way to know that the information is accurate.

Additionally, many long-term rental options have sold to end-users and are permanently off the market. Take a look at what is available to rent for the full summer season in Amagansett south-of-the-highway to gain an understanding of how recent home sales have affected the summer rental market inventory. Plenty of homeowners who have historically rented for a month are no longer renting in favor of using the home themselves or are now only offering their home for either July or August, but not both. It’s never been a better time to enjoy a home in the Hamptons.

New rental inventory will become available as new owners consider their options, but with the dissemination of rental information to brokers and tenants being inconsistent, the process of finding that great rental may be a longer slog than the typical Hamptons tenant is used to.

One agent recently reported that a tenant sent her about 20 rental listings showing as available online, but only two were actually available and only one for the period the tenant was interested in.

Be wary of any agent who has listings showing as available that replies upon inquiry that the property is already rented or unavailable. This agent is either disorganized, which can lead to stress in a transaction or to no transaction at all, or the agent is using old information against the interest of the public for their own benefit. If they cannot keep their listings updated in the public’s best interest, how will they effectively be able to protect your position in a transaction?

Adrianna Nava is the founder of Hamptons Market Data and an associate real estate broker at Compass. Read more of her columns here.