Last year was a wild ride in the world of Hamptons real estate—agents are unanimous in confirming that 2012 was the best year since the housing crash.
In the Hamptons, when Wall Street rises, big-ticket real estate sales do too. There were numerous $20 million-dollar sales last year, but it is not only the big-ticket items that have East End realtors excited about 2013. Some of the big-ticket items that sold in 2012—such as the $32.5 million Ocean Road property in Bridgehampton bought by Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein—may be the catalyst for larger-scale deals, but several realtors agree that particular sale seems to be an anomaly.
The Hamptons has always been a desired place to nest, with its postcard-like scenery, small towns and its proximity to Manhattan, no matter how volatile the economy. The high-end Hamptons market has moved in fits and starts, and this year the market seems to foreshadow larger gains for sellers in the $1-$5 million dollar range.
Local Real Estate Professionals’ Predictions for 2013
“We are in more of what I call a balanced market,” Judi A. Desiderio, CEO of Town and Country Real Estate, says. “There are markets within our markets that are different, but it is a great time to buy that $1 million-$5 million house.”
“We are optimistic with the surge in 2013 rentals…there is consumer confidence in both the rental and sales markets,” Harald Grant of Sotheby’s in Southampton says. “The inventory is strong again and we are seeing things go for slightly under asking prices, Southampton Village, Hayground, Wickapogue continue to be strong areas as well as East Hampton Village and Springs.”
“If the current trend is any indicator, 2013 will be a strong year for the real estate market,” says Mala Sander, Corcoran Group Senior Vice President and Associate Broker.
For Sander, this means good things for buyers. “The supply still exceeds demand. So it’s really important for sellers to price their homes realistically, and to make sure the home shows at its best by sprucing up,” Sander informs.
Those buyers fortunate enough to buy now can find houses that are fully renovated and updated, free of clutter, and basically flawless, because sellers need to gain an edge. In closing, Sander asks, “What better way to invest your dollars than in a home that you will enjoy spending time in, and will appreciate over the long term?”
“If 2013 is anything like 2012, it will continue to be busy. This year marked a turning point in the Hamptons real estate market—for the better,” says Marcia Altman, Senior Director and Associate Broker at Brown Harris Stevens of the Hamptons. Altman adds that the market is slowly shifting back towards sellers, “It is still a buyer’s market although great locations and homes in top condition are swinging the pendulum the other way.”
“The Hamptons have traditionally been a secondary market; however, with more boomers in flux, this may change,” says John Christopher, Senior Director and Associate Broker Brown Harris Stevens of the Hamptons. “There will be more 1.5 million dollar purchases than 15 million dollar. However, globally speaking, the Hamptons are a safer bet and a better return than a Euro bank,” adds Christopher.
“High end, low end and everything in between, real estate professionals across the East End agree that the market is hot,” says Cathy Dransfield, a broker with Saunders and Associates.
“The market was improving even with the financial cliff looming, and now that’s over, sales and rentals will be on the upswing,” John Brady, licensed real-estate salesperson with Nest Seekers International.
Last year was a banner year for Hamptons real estate. It was the best year since the housing crash for both rentals and sales. But agents are in unanimity that 2013 will build off of 2012’s success.