Real Estate Roundtable: Green Is the Color of the State of the Hamptons

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“The Hamptons has always extended the olive branch to both blue and red—let’s face it, both Clinton and Trump held well-attended fundraisers here this past summer,” says Jim Rooney, principal, FLEXdevelopment/Broker KP Property Group Inc. “The real color of interest regarding the health of the market—both stock and real estate—after the election, is green.”

With November 8 in the rearview mirror and all parties looking to what the future holds, our roundtable of experts share their insights and thoughts on what impact the presidential election will have on the East End real estate market, both in the near future and in the long term.

“The presidential election outcome will affect different markets differently, depending on location and price range, but in the long run, most East End markets should see an uptick in business.”—Judi Desiderio, CEO, Town & Country Real Estate

As I have said before, the real estate market on Shelter Island has always been on an even keel. The election has had no impact, as we are, and have been for a long time, a second-home industry and, of course, a vacation destination! To quote FDR, ‘Real estate is the safest investment in the world,’ and this is very true on Shelter Island.”—Georgiana Ketcham, Owner, Georgiana B. Ketcham Licensed Real Estate Broker

“In the short term, the stock market has shown confidence, and regarding real estate, sure we see a slower market, but is it caution or are we just heading into normal winter hibernation, let’s not confuse the two. In the longer term, interest rates are destined to climb, so that should kick-start buyers on the sidelines to commit to purchasing, because, in all honestly, they’re hooked on the Hamptons anyway and nothing will really ever change that!”—Jim Rooney, Principal, FLEXdevelopment/Broker KP Property Group Inc.

“I have a difficult time prognosticating about the real estate market in the future. However, if history repeats itself, which it usually does—we can look back to prior presidential elections and we can see a pattern. Before elections, people hold back and are anxious about making any moves. After elections, there’s usually an uptick and, as time progresses, the market settles. Provided there are no huge world issues that upset the financial foreground, I’m very optimistic about the real estate market, especially this spring.”—John Christopher, Associate Real Estate Broker, Brown Harris Stevens of the Hamptons

“I frankly don’t think that the election will impact either value or demand on East End properties. The Hamptons has always been, and will continue to be, a safe haven for investment and one of the best ways to invest long-term money. In the short term, the only effect might be that A) Buyers will in fact start to materialize at a stronger pace now that the world has not come to an end and, in view of the normal hesitation that pre-election jitters typically brings, which is now, for the most part, over. And B) The concern that interest rates will begin to tick up in the coming quarters, I can only anticipate that this expectation will only create a bit of hurried demand that buyers try to lock in their purchases prior to any rate hikes.”—Raphael Avigdor, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Douglas Elliman

“If I could only tell the future, life would be so easy. Keep in mind, if you are going to be investing in real estate, you have to be optimistic. In the short term, real estate values are all about supply and demand. Currently, there’s more supply than demand at various price points. This is typical of the normal business cycle. Demand in our market is directly tied to the equity markets. The election is over, the Dow Jones is hitting new highs and the bond market is going in the opposite direction. To me, this means the financial markets are forecasting growth but with higher long-term interest rates. The combination of possible value buys in our market with an optimistic economy and future rising interest rates signals to me that I want to be a buyer in this market. Over the long term, the Hamptons real estate market is hard to beat.”—​Alan Schnurman, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Saunders & Associates

“This election season was an eye opener with a bittersweet outcome. Most believe that our President-elect Donald Trump is going to pave the way to a brighter, safer and prosperous America. Based on that, the short-term real estate market on the East End will remain the same—the $1 million to $3 million range selling well, the top of the market soft. If his economic plan stimulates the economy with a projected 4% yearly growth, which will be 300 times better than now, I believe long term it’s going to improve and stimulate the East End real estate market, as Americans will feel more confident and spend.”—Natalie A. Lewis, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, Douglas Elliman Real Estate

Mortgage rates have crept up to the 4% mark, which is higher than we’ve seen in quite some time—but still historically low. Now that the election is over, buyers who were on the fence may be motivated to purchase a home before year’s end. Real estate is a hard asset and has consistently proven to be a good investment long term. Land is a great investment right now, and if you can sit on real estate for the long term, I believe you’ll never regret it.”—Aimee Fitzpatrick Martin, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Saunders & Associates

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