Is The Hamptons Over?

7 Beach Plum Court, Amagansett. Credit: Sunders

(Hamptons, NY) — Recently a group of high-end brokers got together to talk about the state of Hamptons real estate. The consensus was that it’s now a soft market. There are a lot of homes in all the hamlets in Hamptons for sale, but unfortunately there is a lack of buyers. The solution would be to lower the price of a home so that buyers don’t feel they’re overpaying.

Diane Saatchi is an Associate Broker with Saunders & Associates. (Gary Nolan)

According to Diane Saatchi, who heads her own team at Saunders Associates, it’s now taking a long time for a house to sell. She added that the average time would be 29 months for a house to be on the market. Again, it came down to the cost of the home. “If it’s priced right, it will sell,” she said, echoing what the other brokers were saying. So obviously the strategy would be to lower the price to sell faster.

Not all villages in the Hamptons have felt the soft market. For example, Sag Harbor properties have not slashed prices as the village is now in vogue. Similarly, in Amagansett, properties used to be in the mid hundred thousand in the eighties until recently where homes now sell or are worth in the three million range. Another town that is doing well is Montauk. As for East Hampton, sales have been slow, mostly because homes there are deep in the millions.

WHAT BUYERS ARE LOOKING FOR

John Gicking, Senior Managing Director of Sales- East Hampton and Sag Harbor

The other consensus among the brokers was that buyers were looking for move-in ready new homes in great condition. John Gicking, senior managing director of Compass, said that the deciding factor to buy was not just for slashed prices. “It’s the amount of work needed on it.” He added, ““City people don’t want to spend time talking about where the electrical outlets should be.”

In these new houses, buyers are looking for modern architecture, high ceilings, open concept kitchens, and large family or living rooms.

So far, the brokers have focused on buying and selling. But before the standing-room-only conversation drew to a close, the agents brought up how much the real estate market has changed now that buyers can use the internet to find a home. For renters, finding a place is easier than ever now that there is Airbnb and Home Away, for example.

The use of real estate sites, the agents agreed, have empowered the buyer. There is now transparency, and finding a home is easier than ever due to descriptions and pictures on rental sites.

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