The 2013 real estate market may be the strongest for sales and summer rentals since 2007. That’s the story as Dan’s Papers hosted a gathering of real estate professionals at BMW of Southampton last Thursday night. Local experts had a lot to say about the coming year’s market.
“We look like a snowball rolling down Sundown Bowl at Vail…the momentum has already begun,” says Judi Desiderio, Chief Executive Officer of Town & Country Real Estate. “We are seeing a definite shift in funds from Wall Street to real estate as every economic indicator is showing real estate on the move up. Thus far the anticipation of the fiscal cliff along with the anticipated changes to the tax code have seemed to play out to our advantage, as we are having the busiest winter in many years,” acknowledges Desiderio.
Traditionally, this time of year is slow for the real estate industry, but Desiderio reports that all eight Town & Country offices are experiencing increases in every aspect of business, from inquiries to appointments to sales.
And they are not the only company that’s busy this season. Beau Thomas Hulse, owner of Beau Hulse Realty Group, notices remarkable resilience in the market. “I see an increase in business across the board, from rentals to sales,” informs Hulse. “We are certainly moving in the right direction. Interest rates are incredibly low and people are spending money on their homes,” informs Hulse. “I am confident the market will continue to see more action.”
The evidence of a turnaround in the housing market is hard to ignore. Are these changes an aberration or perhaps is this the beginning of a steady transposition?
Five years and more than 16 million foreclosures after the 2008 housing crash, home prices have now been on the uptick for eight straight months and jumped 6.3% year-over-year in October—the largest increase since June 2006, according to several realtors. And if the rest of America is running better, the Hamptons are typically two or three steps ahead.
“The way the interest rates are today, there is a new confidence in buyers I have not seen since 2007,” reports Hulse. “There is a resilience in buyers. The bottom has passed.”
For Victoria Eisenpresser of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, the confidence in buyers in the Westhampton Beach area is palpable.
“It has been busy. Rentals have been great and going for longer periods of time,” tells Eisenpresser.
When Wall Street is going, so are the Hamptons. Even the impending fiscal cliff doesn’t seem to pose much of a potential threat to the Hamptons now burgeoning house market.
“With the holidays upon us and the looming of a financial cliff just around the corner, there really has been no lull in the Hamptons real estate market this season,” says Marcy Braun, an agent with Nest Seekers International in Southampton. “A steady flow of buyers and renters have appeared back on the scene without skipping a beat. There have also been a strong number of year-round rentals.”
That increase in year-round rentals is significant for the South Fork community. Over the past several summers there has been an increase in two-week rentals, which has irked some locals. Year-round renters typically spend more locally, strengthening the local businesses.
The Hamptons has traditionally been a locus for second homes, as many residents split time between here and Manhattan. But some agents have already begun noting an increase in potential primary homeowners—homeowners who spend more than a month or two on the South Fork. This bodes well for 2013.
Although 2012 hasn’t officially concluded, it seems apparent from real estate agents and brokers across the South Fork that the market will be explosive in 2013.
“I believe it will be robust, especially in Sag Harbor,” says an enthusiastic John Christopher, Senior Director Associate Broker at Brown Harris Stevens of the Hamptons. “Once the Watchcase Factory project is completed in 2013, I think it will change the timbre of Sag Harbor‘s real estate landscape in very positive modulation.”
Douglas Elliman agent Tyler Mattson says, “I think we’re going to see a very strong rental and sale season. And we’ll cycle through a good chunk of existing inventory. I see prices remaining pretty stable.”