Monday, February 26
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Market Watch


As the 2017 summer season kicks off, another busy year is expected for Hamptons real estate both in rentals and sales. Rentals are trending towards monthly rather than full season, while sales are already better than last year. Amagansett, Sag Harbor, Water Mill, and Bridgehampton are hot. Waterfront is in very high demand, while new construction is active. In select areas of the market, prices are rising slightly, while inventory is decreasing. Predictions are for a good year in Hamptons real estate.

Martha Gundersen of Brown Harris Stevens says, “The 2017 rental season is similar to last year with the early birds getting rentals ahead of time. Now July and full season rental requests are coming in. Sales have been better than last year. Amagansett, Sag Harbor, and the Water Mill/Bridgehampton area South of the Highway are the most active. It’s an excellent time to buy new construction from a year or two ago, as material, labor, and land are all going up. Home prices have come down quite a bit and inventory is moving, but there is still a lot of inventory, especially in the rental markets.” Martha believes, “Barring any negative, major political event all signs point to a great year.”

Judi Desiderio of Town & Country Real Estate says, “Where Memorial Day to Labor Day rentals used to be the norm and monthly rentals the exception, just the reverse is today’s trend. As for sales, January was one of the best in several years, February stayed strong, then March activity slid a bit due to inclement weather – but the closings for 2017 will trump 2016! Under $3.5M is the most active segment. Deals are solid in the average price ranges, but there are segments of the market where inventory far outweighs demand and that formula will always result in price adjustments.” Judi thinks, “2017 won’t be one of our record setting years, but it certainly will be a solid performer.”

Susan Breitenbach of The Corcoran Group says, “Rentals are finally starting to pick up. My highest rental this season so far was $1.2M. I have had quite a few closings $10M and over and have 7 signed contracts totaling over $70M in sales so far this year. Any waterfront is very hot! Although there seems to be quite a lot of spec houses and inventory for sale, builders are still building! There have been quite a lot of price reductions and it is a good time to buy, as prices won’t go up until inventory starts to deplete!” Susan remarks, “I have no doubt it is going to be a very busy spring and summer for Hamptons real estate.”

Janice Hayden of Halstead Property says, “The rental market is going well. Instead of the typical Memorial Day to Labor Day, rentals are only for one month such as July or August. Sales are up over 2016. Homes under $2M went through a good run from 2016 into 2017 and inventory for homes under $1.5M is down. Homes with pools and a nice yard still rule, as do homes closer to villages. New construction is still desirable – though inventory is up, so are the prices.” Janice observes, “The market is improving and the low interest rates make it the best time to buy. I see 2017 being a good year and the market will continue to improve.”

Maria Cunneen of Compass says, “The rental market started a bit sluggish, but is gaining plenty of activity. Post-election sales have been steady, with much activity in the $1M and below market. The higher-end market ($4M and above) has seen a nice amount of activity, with several notable sales West of the Canal. New construction is active in several hamlet markets. Prices are rising slightly from a somewhat neutral market in 2016. Inventory remains low, with current market sales further decreasing the inventory.” Maria foresees, “Sales will remain active throughout the spring and into summer, with the West of the Canal market continuing to be active as buyers want more time enjoying where they live and less time on the road.”

Christopher Covert of Saunders & Associates says, “The rental market has been very active. Sales have had a strong pace since November – with December and January incredibly busy – continuing straight through the spring market. Anything waterfront is in very high demand. The inventory of new construction homes is steadily decreasing. We are starting to see prices increase and inventory dwindle in select areas of the market.” Chris notes, “We can see that the classic indicators for a strong real estate market are all still very much in place. Rates – despite a bit of volatility – are still very low, and the stock markets are at all time highs. I am enthusiastic with regards to the direction of the 2017 market.”

Erica Grossman of Douglas Elliman Real Estate says, “The 2017 rental season is very active especially when compared to 2016. The sales market has been busy with deals running from $1M to north of $30M; the most active segment of the market has been the $1M-$5M range. In terms of buyer interest, new construction is extremely active, especially in Southampton Village. Pricing has been somewhat consistent, with certain price ranges in certain segments, slightly appreciating. Inventory has been decreasing in the past 6 months.” Erica reflects, “The start of 2017 has been active and I believe the market will remain strong for the balance of 2017. At this point there is no sign of slowing down.”

Beate V. Moore of Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. says, “There are still a lot of rentals available. Sales have definitely increased. Anything on the water, whether the ocean or the bay, gets premium prices. Bridgehampton, Southampton, Wainscott, Water Mill, and Sagaponack are popular areas. New construction is in demand and, overall, the new construction market has picked up. Prices are not going up as we are still coming out of a slow market where there is still a lot of inventory.” Beate notes, “While I don’t have a crystal ball, I hope the market will be very positive in 2017. Even when it’s slow, it always does pick up. The Hamptons are a beautiful place and people do want to be here!”

The 2017 Hamptons real estate market has gotten off to a very busy start. With interest rates still low, new construction in high demand, inventory declining slowly, and prices increasing gradually, the market is predicted to improve. As the weather warms up, the Hamptons will once again be a popular vacation destination.