If you’ve been considering investing in East End real estate—and let’s be honest, who hasn’t had at least a glimmer of that notion, having driven through these pristine environs, gazed at the beautiful homes, spent time in the hamlets and villages, strolled the beaches—the moment may well be upon you. With an eye toward the state of the economy and interest rates, the levels of supply and demand, and the nature of the local markets, our roundtable of experts and insiders considers the state of East End real estate as an investment opportunity right now, and what the first half of the year may mean for buyers and sellers during Part II of 2015.
“The economy is improving, unemployment is going down, the stock market is stable and the existing inventory of homes is being absorbed at rates we haven’t seen since the beginning of the recession. Hamptons real estate has proven to be a solid investment over the long term. I never try to time a market. Buy the best location your resources will allow and be patient. Buying a property that needs work can add to your investment, when completed.”—Alan Schnurman, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Saunders & Associates
“Perfect time to invest, lots of inventory and we all know when it starts to deplete, price will increase.”—Susan Breitenbach, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, The Corcoran Group
“Real estate on the East End is a great investment in my opinion, and there’s still opportunity. Great thing about investing in real estate on the East End, is even though appreciation is based on market conditions, which may fluctuate, in my opinion, it’s one of the best investments for the future and it provides the whole family with a wonderful tangible asset that you can actually use while the property appreciates. Doesn’t get any better than that!”—Beau Hulse, Licensed Real Estate Broker, Coldwell Banker Beau Hulse Realty Group
“Coming from a long family line in real estate, despite having seen fluctuations in the market, real estate is still the safest investment. It’s one that you can see, touch and feel. When it comes to residential real estate on the East End, it is also one of the few appreciating assets that you can use and enjoy while your investment grows over time.”—Donielle Cardinale, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty
“Homeowners who choose to stage their homes with some small tweaks—touch-up paint, throw pillows and attractive blankets, new slipcovers on sofas or chairs if needed, fresh and bright linens on beds and storing personal pictures—can do wonders to prepare a home for sale. Although I think you need to think smart, sometimes spending money to get that additional dollar is wise since your investing in the sale of your wonderful beach house.”—Lynn November, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Douglas Elliman
“Good investments are becoming harder to find on the East End. There are more builders coming into the market attempting to replicate what certain builders have succeeded in doing. Because of that, you see large homes being built and lots being maxed out in some of the most unlikely locations. Off-hand, I’d venture to say that the number of spec homes has almost doubled that of last year. So as investments go, the opportunities are there. Finding them seems to be another issue.”—John Christopher, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Brown Harris Stevens of the Hamptons, LLC
“It is the Hamptons, and East End…it has definitely become synonymous with ‘Investment Opportunity!’ And with an uptick in new homes being built, land is becoming more scarce, especially with substantial acreage being preserved in agricultural reserves—it has and will help to continue to increase the demand to invest in most markets.”—Jim Rooney, Principal, FLEX development/KP Property Group Inc.
“In nearly every market there are margins. The high end is frothy and land has regained its position. If you are a long-term player, I don’t see a downside to any play on the East End.”—Judi Desiderio, CEO, Town & Country Real Estate
“In my opinion, real estate is like an IRA. You’re likely to get a good return on your investment if you’re willing to sit on it for a while. If you’re a speculator looking to flip a property right away, it’s always a riskier game—but you pick your shots. No one ever has a crystal ball in this business, but I do believe that real estate is one of the best investments you can put your money into.”
—Enzo Morabito, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Enzo Morabito Real Estate Team, Douglas Elliman Real Estate