Pulse Real Estate Roundtable: The State Of The Hamptons Market In 2021 - 27 East

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Pulse Real Estate Roundtable: The State Of The Hamptons Market In 2021

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Ed Bruehl, associate real estate broker at Saunders & Associates

Ed Bruehl, associate real estate broker at Saunders & Associates

Judi Desiderio, chief executive officer and founder of Town & Country Real Estate

Judi Desiderio, chief executive officer and founder of Town & Country Real Estate

Ashley Farrell, associate real estate broker at Corcoran

Ashley Farrell, associate real estate broker at Corcoran

Todd Bourgard, senior executive regional manager of Hamptons sales at Douglas Elliman

Todd Bourgard, senior executive regional manager of Hamptons sales at Douglas Elliman

Christopher Covert, associate real estate broker at Compass

Christopher Covert, associate real estate broker at Compass

Robert Lohman, associate real estate broker at Brown Harris Stevens

Robert Lohman, associate real estate broker at Brown Harris Stevens

Frank Bodenchak, salesperson and senior global real estate advisor at Sotheby's International Realty

Frank Bodenchak, salesperson and senior global real estate advisor at Sotheby's International Realty

Geoff Gifkins, associate broker and Hamptons regional manager at Nest Seekers International

Geoff Gifkins, associate broker and Hamptons regional manager at Nest Seekers International

authorMichelle Trauring on Feb 11, 2022

In the East End real estate market, tension is only rising.

Inventory has dropped to historic lows. Bidding wars are the norm rather than an oddity. A push and pull of frustration and optimism hangs between buyers and sellers, respectively.

And as demand outpaces supply, the dearth of affordable housing is inescapable — for both the working class and first-time homebuyer alike.

Unequivocally a strong sellers’ market, homeowners are keeping their investments close, knowing that if they part ways, it nearly guarantees the inability to live in the area, short of extraordinary means.

Even though the buying frenzy of 2020 has slowed, there is no doubt that the South Fork market has a long way to go before it returns to a pre-pandemic climate, fueled by a confluence of remote work, limited travel and, quite frankly, room to breathe on the East End, local real estate professionals agree.

Together, they reflect on 2021, take stock of the current market — from what areas are heating up, to predictions on the best time to sell, if ever — and share their forecasts on the year ahead.

What is the general mood of the Hamptons real estate market at the moment?

Judi Desiderio: Exhale. After nearly two years of the most frenetic markets I’ve seen in 36 years, there’s a feeling of being able to breathe — for now. From Thanksgiving until Presidents Day weekend, our markets historically are quieter. Last winter was the exception, when we were in the middle of the COVID wave of buying. Today, our markets are on somewhat a normal schedule.

Ed Bruehl: Niche-y and growing. We have more buyers than inventory. The sellers have nowhere to move to locally, so if they do sell, most need to be ready to move away from the area, which is rare. That said, you can’t blame them for wanting top dollar if they chose to sell now. Today’s buyers and investors are wise to be both patient and diligent. Really get to know which specific niche of the market you’re looking for. Working closely with a smart, local broker to truly understand every offering in your niche, you will become the best buyer at that moment in time — assuring you win the opportunity, with or without a bidding war. Growth in all sectors of the market will continue strong for the foreseeable future, due to an entirely new buyer and ownership dynamic, which starts with today’s buyers being far more year-round residents than summer-season snowbirds.

Ashley Farrell: How someone feels about the local real estate market largely depends on how they’re participating. For sellers and landlords, the mood is generally positive and upbeat. Demand still far exceeds supply for sales and rentals, leading to higher prices and more competition. On the flip side, tenants and buyers seem to be exhausted and, in many cases, discouraged. To them I’d say, don’t give up. No market will continue forever, and there will be a point where even the strongest sellers’ market begins to correct itself.

Todd Bourgard: There’s a lot of positive energy and pent-up excitement in anticipation of what’s already shaping up to be a prosperous market.

Christopher Covert: I think there’s a mix of frustration and optimism. It’s a very difficult market to transact in, as we are at historic lows on inventory — down almost 50 percent, year over year. Buyers are frustrated, and I think agents are frustrated as well. But there is optimism that 2022 will continue to show strength overall, despite some current wobbles in the economic indicators.

Geoff Gifkins: The general mood is positive and exceptionally driven. 2021 was a record year, with many high-end transactions recorded, most notably our co-exclusive 70 Cobb Road in Water Mill, which set a record sale for 2021 at $118.5 million. Inventory dropped by over 50 percent during that period. Lack of sales inventory and high demand is creating tense transactions for many buyers, and many sellers considering selling in this market have limited options to move on to.

Frank Bodenchak: Frenetic. Pricing for years has been out of whack — too low — versus other real estate markets and the financial markets. Because there was a glut of rental inventory, and there were always well-priced new constructions on the horizon, it was a buyers’ market the last decade. But the confluence of available land getting built up and increased summer/year-round demand created a huge temporary inventory shortage. Bidding wars for well-priced product is the norm, rather than a one-time event. A lot of deals are agreed to and then reneged when someone outbids the first bid. It requires a great deal of more strategy.

Robert Lohman: I am not feeling the same level of new buyers coming into the market. The backlog of buyers still looking remains strong due to very limited inventory. Our second-home market is a relatively small area compared to all of Long Island. At the same time, there are few people who can afford to come here. Small pond with few fish.

How have the peaks and valleys of the COVID-19 pandemic affected the market?

Judi Desiderio: The onset of COVID and New York City school closures created an unprecedented surge in activity — first with rentals for immediate occupancy, then converted to sales when it became clear COVID was not going away anytime soon. That buying frenzy maintained for over a year.

Ed Bruehl: COVID fundamentally changed the landscape out here — and I argue we will never go back to the pre-COVID Hamptons. Here is my argument: Of the 100 percent of people who fled the city and elsewhere to make the Hamptons home during COVID, I predict two-thirds will return to where they came from over the next few years, with the remaining one-third staying and living here forever, because these new buyers have found a way to both work and live away from the cities and no longer have to go into an office to make a living. I think this is one of the best outcomes from COVID, as the new buyer is not like the old buyer, who only used the house during the summer months and flew to warmer locations during the winter. Today’s buyer is much more a year-round resident, looking to get involved in their new, exciting and growing local community.

Ashley Farrell: COVID-19 has caused incredible changes in the market — and among the most notable is “timing.” For instance, “slow season” was once Christmas to about St. Patrick’s Day; now, the market has a steady buzz year-round. Gone are the days when tenants waited until March or April to secure their summer rentals. Now, there are little to no choices after late February. In addition, say your ideal property comes to market in February, but you’re away, in the middle of winter break. If it’s truly your dream home, you’d better find a way to send a friend, obtain a virtual tour from your agent, or bid sight unseen — otherwise that house just became someone else’s dream home within 72 hours.

Todd Bourgard: It’s been two years since the COVID-19 virus has entered and forever changed our lives. It’s within the human spirit to adapt, forge forward and eventually stabilize ourselves in challenging scenarios. This truth has been proven within the Hamptons marketplace and continues to be so.

Christopher Covert: Obviously, the initial stages of the pandemic drove tremendous volume in acquisitions, and they were emotion driven. As we’ve gotten used to the new world, buyers have shifted back to more pragmatic approaches to purchasing. But the peaks and valleys certainly have given sellers pause to offer their listings, and they seem to want to hold on to homes as a back-up plan for now. Demand has been following supply, however. That is, as we get more listings, more properties sell.

Geoff Gifkins: The peak of COVID-19 completely shut everything down, and it was a very dark time for the industry, as no one knew how long it would last, or what the result would look like. With no in-person showings allowed and offices closed, it created a build-up of both buyers and renters ready to move to the Hamptons. As the restrictions lifted, the tsunami of business ascended on the East End.

Frank Bodenchak: The supply/demand doesn’t really ebb and flow with COVID news. The big shift happened months after COVID started, when demand increased at the same time that the glut of available inventory got sopped up. The confluence of limited travel, greater ability to work from home, and greater desire to enjoy home settings and the outdoors has created a continual demand.

Robert Lohman: When COVID hit, there was a frantic move to the Hamptons on all fronts. Since then, the interest has remained strong and steady.

How has the omicron variant affected sales activity?

Judi Desiderio: Omicron crushed the holiday mood and sent waves of, “Oh no, not again!” This time, though, there’s a sense of, “OK, we need to learn to live with this.” Schools staying open keeps many people in the city. Many are making lifestyle decisions — where to live and where to visit. Fortunately, the East End is factored in there, either way.

Ed Bruehl: COVID-19 and delta and omicron, yes, they have all increased sales and rental volume, and moved the market prices 20 percent to 33 percent higher. I am not sure omicron had a specific effect on sales, but due to its latest push, it certainly may have prolonged some of the “fear buying.” But this, too, shall pass, and what will remain will be more and more quality year-round community members looking to enjoy the Hamptons all four seasons of the year.

Ashley Farrell: Since the market was already strong, I wouldn’t say omicron had the noticeable impact of the original pandemic-related rush. If anything, omicron likely caused this state of heightened interest to continue, meaning the market remains in a place of high demand, low supply, with very little let up.

Todd Bourgard: Omicron hit hard during the holiday and travel season. That is typically a time that sales tend to slow down a bit naturally — therefore, making the effect of omicron virtually undetectable in this market.

Christopher Covert: Honestly, I don’t think it has made much of a difference, as this surge primarily came through during holidays, which would typically be slow.

Geoff Gifkins: COVID-19 changed the way real estate business is conducted, and it is very unlikely we will see a return to business as usual. The omicron variant has proven this true, and New York State has mandated strict, safe showing practices for the industry. Like all businesses, the industry must evolve to stay relevant and meet the demands of consumers. Expect to see the metaverse, blockchain with smart contract technologies, web 3.0 and AI developments help transition the industry into more functional, reliable and efficient customer-focused experiences.

Frank Bodenchak: I personally have not seen an impact. It’s the same customers who have been searching for some time that we are servicing.

Robert Lohman: I think the omicron variant made people more cautious about longer-distance travel, and that brought some back to looking here, more in the rental market.

What does the year-round population look like? Do you see New York-based buyers investing in second homes on the East End and going back to the city, or are they largely staying here?

Judi Desiderio: More people are making this their primary residence, yet since the omicron spike, many people are dining in and nesting at their homes. The first winter of COVID, the majority of them stayed out east. In September, many returned to the city, but, frankly, with one foot in the door and the other on the East End. Those who purchased during the COVID surge plan to keep their homes, just in case, and with the intention to spend extended summers here.

Ed Bruehl: One-third will stay here and call the Hamptons home — great! Many families are enjoying the work-life balance they have found out here and are ready to grow roots in the local community. They are looking at ways to create satellite offices, start new businesses and get involved in local politics. I love this trend. Businesses that cater to the new families, who are deciding to raise children on the East End, are taking off. More commercial properties will open and thrive by serving our growing community.

Ashley Farrell: The year-round population is completely different from pre-COVID. For years, the East End only truly “buzzed” during the summer months. Now, we see numerous buyers using their “summer homes” either full time, or as weekenders in the offseason, including throughout the holiday season. The spike in the year-round population is no more evident than at busy grocery stores and full restaurants. Dining options, which were once desolate throughout the winter, now require reservations.

Todd Bourgard: The Hamptons has certainly evolved into more of a year-round community. Over the last two years, many buyers came out here for the quality of life and, with more flexibility to be had in the workplace, they are staying and continuing to come out. As for current sales, we are still seeing buyers purchasing homes as a second or third residence; however, their season is much longer than Memorial Day to Labor Day. Across the board, people are staying longer and enjoying all that the Hamptons have to offer for all four seasons.

Christopher Covert: I think there’s a bit of a mix, but the majority of people who camped out here for 12 to 18 months seem to have gone back to the city. That being said, certainly weekend activity is higher than pre-pandemic, and it’s interesting to see city-based businesses opening offices on the East End for employees who are in hybrid situations.

Geoff Gifkins: The transition will continue. All towns and villages are busier, and while many have gone back to the city, most have kept their primary residence in the Hamptons and use the city address a few days a week. The open spaces and lower-density populations are still luring many new buyers and renters.

Frank Bodenchak: There has always been a significant community of real estate professionals, builders, architects, artists, restaurateurs, shop owners, medical practitioners and those in public service. But the year-round population expanded last year, as some professionals — lawyers and financial advisors, for example — took advantage of the fact that they did not need to be in a corporate office. About half of our clients and friends who moved out full time last year intend to move back. That said, most already had weekend homes and intend to spend far more time out here, even if not living here full time. Many of the restaurants, stores and children’s activities are flourishing year round, offering so many more entertainment avenues than in the past.

Robert Lohman: New York City residents still have a strong presence in the Hamptons. When COVID hit, it was 24/7. Now, it seems more like expanded weekends, with most people going back to the city for part of the week. They definitely want to know that they have a place to go to, if needed.

Which areas in the market are cooling off and which are heating up?

Judi Desiderio: Inventory is the buzzkill here. There are several markets within our markets, which is why our market reports monitor 12 individual hamlets and eight different price ranges within each of those individual markets. Generally speaking, if we had 10 times as many homes under $1.5 million, we still wouldn’t have enough.

Ed Bruehl: Cooling off: silly bidding wars for under-average rental and sale properties. Heating up: well done new construction homes that cater to a smart buyer’s wish list, and homes that have the ability to become such for smart investors and/or homebuyers looking to do post-purchase renovations, adding future value. I also see a wave of buyers looking for full-service, year-round townhouses or condos.

Ashley Farrell: After years of being kind of a sleeper, the secret is out — and west of the canal is heating up! As New Yorkers strive to understand what life will look like after COVID, buyers and renters alike see the value in properties with proximity to Manhattan. The hybrid work schedule has introduced many to the idea of the Hamptons as a commutable suburb. Spend one summer Friday commuting to a destination farther out east, and you’ll immediately appreciate the extra hour and a half plus of leisure time that living in Westhampton affords you.

Todd Bourgard: I don’t see any areas cooling at all. The demand remains strong throughout the communities, and we’re still seeing buyers ready to purchase. On the rental side, we’re going into the 2022 season with strength, as well. People have always wanted to come to the Hamptons and will continue to do so.

Christopher Covert: The only data that looks cool is overall transactional volume, as there is so little to sell or buy. Every other datapoint remains red hot.

Geoff Gifkins: Apart from the typical holiday period, sales and rentals have not cooled off. We are already experiencing a record year in both residential and commercial deals, compared to the same period last year.

Robert Lohman: New homes remain very popular. All of the Hamptons are in demand, with better homes being built all over — much like Manhattan, where there are no bad areas left. I do not see any area cooling off.

Are there specific neighborhoods peaking in popularity — and if so, why do you think that is?

Judi Desiderio: North of the highway in the Hamptons, pre-COVID, saw new and newish homes trading in the $3 millions and, now, similar product is being listed at $5 million. Whenever you see a jump like that, it takes the market some time to absorb that spike. The undeniable factors that influence this, this time, is that [the price of] land — which is radically scarce — increased by 35 percent or more, and materials and labor have increased by double digits, as well.

Ed Bruehl: Any village fringe — locations where these buyers can feel like they are part of the larger local community and/or walk to local shops — and the Northwest Woods, because the larger parcels offer more privacy and room to expand the house and grounds over time. Also increasing are south of the highway sleepers with upside, meaning land or teardown homes that enable a new buyer to capture the magic of that special land, while adding their own custom home to some of the best neighborhoods in the world.

Ashley Farrell: Towns and hamlets with closer proximity to Manhattan seem to be gaining popularity. In a stroke of luck, buyers interested in properties west of the canal are also discovering there is more bang for your buck in these communities when compared to their neighbors to the east. Larger homes with more property for less money — who doesn’t love that?

Christopher Covert: I think the lack of inventory has made neighborhood or hamlet less relevant to buyers, and it’s more about finding a home that works. The largest growth to date has been realized in areas like Springs and waterfront communities off Noyac Road in Southampton. Generally speaking, buyers shifted focus as inventory declined to areas that remained less developed going into the pandemic as a way to find value and opportunity in a sellers’ market.

Geoff Gifkins: Sag Harbor again had a record year, with increased sales of over 60 percent compared to 2020. Bridgehampton also saw a significant increase. We are fortunate to live in such a great area. Buyers will always find the right place for them. It may just take some time these days. It is simply a function of supply and demand right now.

Robert Lohman: People have always wanted to be near the ocean beach, that has remained a constant.

Where can homebuyers who work locally on the South Fork find houses they can afford?

Judi Desiderio: It’s time for the municipalities to make this happen. Affordable housing has been on the agenda for decades — it must be addressed now.

Ed Bruehl: I think the trick here is patience and diligence. If you take the time to really study the market, deals will always present themselves. But the most important part of a real estate deal is timing and preparation — meaning, when the timing presents itself, is the buyer prepared to make the offer and win the deal? In terms of current areas with value, I like all village fringes, Southampton North, Shinnecock, Noyac and Springs.

Ashley Farrell: The best values can now be found on the fringe of the Hamptons — places such as Eastport, East and Center Moriches, and Manorville are great options for more affordable but still close-by options.

Todd Bourgard: Hampton Bays and East Quogue are wonderful communities that are showing some nice options in the $650,000 to $1 million range.

Geoff Gifkins: It is becoming more and more difficult for local workers, especially now, as prices have risen so dramatically. Higher conforming loan limits and low interest rates have helped; however, the gap is still getting bigger. We are at risk of losing many qualified workers to other states where the cost of living is so much lower, and they can buy a much nicer home for a lot less. Generally, areas of focus have been North Sea, Shinnecock Hills, Noyac, Northwest Woods and Springs.

Robert Lohman: The Town of Riverhead seems to be the spot where working people can buy.

Both east and west of the canal, what price point is the most sought after? What is realistic to expect if you’re trying to buy a home out here?

Judi Desiderio: Anything below the median home sale price is of greatest demand. If you can afford to purchase a home on the East End, don’t delay. Do it now.

Ed Bruehl: Under $1 million is always most active. The $2 million to $5 million market doesn’t seem to be slowing down, and the $5 million-plus market has never been more in play. Buyers in all price points are looking to create their safe, luxury family bunker, and I do not see that trend slowing down anytime soon. Over my 20 years as a broker on the East End, I am often asked, when is the best time to get into the market? And I always give the same answer: Now and ASAP. Property in the Hamptons is scarce and becoming even harder to identify and purchase. The sooner you are in the market, the sooner you can begin adding value and customizing the house and grounds to your liking. So, again, to highlight, wherever your entry point, owning a place to get away to is worth every penny and, as you customize it, priceless.

Ashley Farrell: In every market, properties priced under $1 million are always in highest demand, simply because they are the most affordable. Currently, however, it’s usually unrealistic. A more reasonable expectation, which opens up a larger pool of still limited inventory, is the sub-$3 million market. Depending on the location, for around $3 million, one can buy a nice renovated home with pool, usually three to four-plus bedrooms. If a buyer has a strong location preference, particularly walking distance to a village or beach, the price point will increase dramatically.

Todd Bourgard: We are finding a significant number of buyers in the $1.5 million to $3.5 million range — that seems to be the sweet spot. Buyers can expect a properly priced home to have multiple offers on it. They should be prepared to put their best foot forward and come in strong on their first offer.

Christopher Covert: I think that data will show anything under $4 million is incredibly in demand. What I think a buyer needs to expect is that they may not get to check all the boxes if they are hoping to purchase in the near future. I think settling and compromise is well advised, as are speed and decisiveness.

Geoff Gifkins: For buyers, the key is to be prepared. Work with your agent to learn and understand the market. Manage your expectations to meet today’s market. Learning the market, comparing homes for sale and those that have sold, is the only way to understand values and manage buyer expectations.

Robert Lohman: The starter home that used to be $1 million or under is now $2 million and under, and the expectations for this home are a bit higher than in the past. I am seeing homes sell in all price points. There is very little inventory south of the highway for under $10 million. This seems most desirable.

Are millennials getting into starter homes? Is that even a possibility on the East End?

Judi Desiderio: Yes, they are, but entry-level homes are approximately $1 million.

Ed Bruehl: Yes and yes. Plenty of savvy young buyers are looking to begin building their real estate portfolio. I love this customer — less emotional, more grounded in today’s reality and willing to grow value over time, as long as the land has future upside potential — and I am looking forward to doing business with bitcoin on the blockchain in the not-too-distant future.

Ashley Farrell: Yes, well-heeled millennials are getting into starter homes, but the definition of a starter home is vastly different than in years past. To break into the Hamptons market, buyers need at least $1 million. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, but the vast majority of buyers will need seven figures before being able to explore Hamptons homeownership.

Christopher Covert: Certainly.

Geoff Gifkins: It has become more difficult and very competitive with demand outpacing supply. Many starter homes are being bought by builders and developers striving to meet the demands for new construction at reasonable prices against escalating land and building costs, supply chain delays and workforce shortages. Starter homes do exist but sell very quickly, so if you are in the market, be prepared to move very quickly.

Frank Bodenchak: We have had a few millennial clients. The stock market and internet have been good to some, and others have inherited wealth. But most clients are a little older — 30-somethings who are tired of wasting money on rent or who buy properties they can use themselves and rent out part-time; successful 40- and 50-somethings who want a dependable family place and have saved up nest eggs to afford that special house; and “heads of families,” often grandparents, wanting to enjoy multi-generational family visits.

Robert Lohman: Yes, I think millennials are in our market, both in sales and rentals.

What is the climate for sellers?

Judi Desiderio: Should they hold out for even higher prices in months, or a couple of years, from now? This is a lifestyle question and a timing question. If you are in the time of your life when you want to retire south or move to be close to family, then what are you waiting for? Tap into the best sellers’ market this broker has ever seen and live where you wish to be. This isn’t a dress rehearsal.

Ed Bruehl: I always recommend never selling Hamptons real estate. Just turn it into an LLC and run it like a profitable rental property, and enjoy using it when not being rented, as it increases in value over time. But, if you are seriously thinking about putting your house on the market, now is the time to do it — but do it thoughtfully. Interview a few top brokers that you get along and communicate well with. Remember the selling process is not easy and it takes months, with dozens of very challenging conversations. Choose a broker you both like and like working with and represents you as best possible. Remember, the goal is to work together as a team to get top dollar for your home and move the deal smoothly and efficiently toward the closing.

Ashley Farrell: If I might borrow a line from Steve Carell, a.k.a. Michael Scott from “The Office”: “No, God! No, God, please, no, no, no, no, noooooo!” All markets are cyclical and will correct themselves. The high that sellers are riding will come to an end. The fed is already increasing interest rates as a way to naturally, albeit slowly, bring the market back to equilibrium. No one knows when this market will end, but I can guarantee you, there is an expiration date. Don’t be the seller who wished they could’ve sold when given the opportunity.

Todd Bourgard: It’s still a sellers’ market and an excellent time to sell. An uptick in interest rates and influx of inventory can quickly turn the tables. Strike while the iron’s hot.

Christopher Covert: Sellers have all the leverage in this market. Demand is historically high and inventory historically low. If I had a crystal ball and could tell you holding out would make much of a difference, I would, but I don’t think it will. I would like to think that the inventory shortage is not going to last too long, as builders are furiously getting new homes up, and at some point something has to give. In two years, I don’t imagine we will have such a shortage, so I think pressure on pricing will even out.

Geoff Gifkins: Everyone’s situation is different, so it really depends on the outcome they are envisioning. If they are planning to exit the area, the market is strong and they can be assured of a good sale number. However, if they are looking to stay in the area, their options may be limited, as inventory is low and prices are at an all-time high. Off-market deals are trending, and many brokers relish them, as they make more money, have little expenses and less work. Sellers should be made aware: An off-market sale may not always bring the best market price, and you will never be sure another buyer would not have paid more had they been given the opportunity to make an offer. Don’t be fooled, let the market speak and get the highest price you can for your property — and bring it to market.

Frank Bodenchak: The old axiom applies here: “Buy low, sell high.” I wouldn’t sell just because the market is high. If you are using your home fully, enjoy it! But if you are under-utilizing your home — perhaps you only spend a couple of weeks a summer in the Hamptons, or live in Florida — or if your net worth is tied up in one real estate asset, then consider taking advantage of this market. The current real estate liquidity is a tremendous diversification opportunity that many haven’t seen before.

Robert Lohman: My sellers seem to feel they can wait; they tend to forget the soft times in the market and only see the rising values without the hiccups.

What is the 2022 outlook for Hamptons home sales?

Judi Desiderio: While we anticipate a healthy market for 2022, it probably will not compare to 2020 and 2021. We are close to saturation on the COVID wave.

Ed Bruehl: Very similar to 2021, with less inventory and steadily rising prices. If you are a seller, now is the time to list your home for sale. And, even if you do not have the “perfectly staged, turnkey Hamptons home,” by pricing it accordingly and doing your pre-listing homework, you can capture top dollar from a buyer who will take your house and renovate it to become their own custom home. But, again, the trick is in hiring the proper broker/team to properly position your home so the future buyer knows all potential upside scenarios of the property. YouTube will become one of the dominant sales tools for selling real estate. With COVID-19, more deals are getting done digitally. These days, nothing helps sell a property better than a well-made video explaining as concisely as possible the ins and outs of a listing. I love this trend. It is profoundly changing the way I list and sell properties already and I am just getting started. I will also add, the coming decade and beyond will see a massive wave of new townhouse and condo developments in the Hamptons because of our limited single-family inventory, and today’s buyer’s need for full-service living.

Ashley Farrell: So far, our local market continues to trend upward, with many homes seeing multiple offers and bidding wars. However, it’s important to note that this is not the case for all properties. The media’s headlines about “soaring demand for Hamptons real estate,” while true overall, can cause some owners to be unrealistic when pricing their homes. Updated homes, in highly desirable locations, are the most sought after. Older homes in need of updating, or smaller homes without room to expand, are less in demand and therefore more challenging to sell. To combat the lower demand, these homeowners must price realistically or risk having their home sit on the market unsold.

Todd Bourgard: The interest and demand from buyers have set the tone for the market trend to continue in a similar fashion to 2021. I don’t see this market slowing down in the foreseeable future.

Christopher Covert: There is nothing to say that 2022 won’t be another record-setting year. A rise in interest rates really only means they are going from almost nothing to very low, and that should not affect our buyers. Demand is still far outpacing supply, and I think it’s 24 months before that might even out, and pricing may still have another 10 percent to 15 percent to go up. That said, we have to gauge buyer frustration and burnout, as I’ve already seen a number of buyers walk away from the market because it is so challenging. But for every one that leaves the market, it seems two more enter — so, fasten your seatbelts.

Geoff Gifkins: 2022 will be another record year, and the outlook for the next two years looks to be very good for the East End. Even though we saw a drop in closings for the month of December 2021, it is typical over this period of year. Those waiting to see prices reverse will be disappointed.

Frank Bodenchak: Pricing up but sales down due to lack of inventory.

Robert Lohman: Right now, the market looks very strong, I have worked in real estate in the Hamptons since the 1980s, I have seen this market turn very abruptly, with buyers walking away from signed contracts, so I find it very hard to project the future. I have never seen inventory this tight.

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A newly constructed “Hamptons transitional”-style residence in Water Mill by Bittencourt Development and Cavallo Building ... 11 Jun 2024 by Staff Writer

New Amagansett Modern Sells for $10.25 Million

A newly constructed modern Amagansett residence by RTB Design and Shoshi Builders with views of ... 5 Jun 2024 by Staff Writer

New Build in Water Mill Sells for $7.85 Million

A new build by developer Jason Khan on 1.4 acres in Water Mill backing up ... by Staff Writer

Southampton Village ARB Must Abide by Appellate Division Decision on Bliss House Demolition

The Village of Southampton Board of Architectural Review and Historic Preservation has agreed to halt ... 28 May 2024 by Brendan J. O’Reilly

Southampton Village Estate Where Joe Biden Stayed on Vacation Sells for $27.5 Million

A Southampton Village estate where Joe Biden stayed on multiple occasions over the course of ... by Staff Writer

New State Law Protects Homeowners From Squatters

Legislation aimed at weakening so-called squatters’ rights was enacted as part of the New York State budget in April and became effective immediately. The legislation identifies the term “squatter” as one who enters onto a property or building without title, right, or permission, and therefore is not subject to the same rights and protections of lawful tenants, occupants or owners. This also makes it clear that squatters do not get any rights or protections after 30 days of occupancy. It has been designed to make it easier in some cases for police to intervene when someone enters a home without ... 23 May 2024 by Joseph Finora

Hamptons Real Estate Roundtable: Memorial Day 2024 Edition

On the eve of Memorial Day weekend, Hamptons real estate professionals weigh in on the ... by Moderated by Brendan J. O'Reilly