For real estate agents handling listings and sales in posh locales around the country, the Hamptons rank among the trendiest spots, with listings that most of us can only dream about. Now that the Hamptons are synonymous with wealth, leisure, and stratospheric real estate prices, it’s no surprise that brokers around the world are eager to associate their own listings with the area.

Even Ginger Martin, a Sotheby’s broker who represents listings in the Sonoma/Napa Valley area near San Francisco, knows the value. She discussed high-end properties with Bloomberg recently.

“What the Hamptons is to New York, wine country is to San Francisco. I’ve been saying that for a long time.”

The Hamptons remains a desired location, but it remains rather relaxed, according to Michaela Keszler, a Douglas Elliman real estate broker based in Southampton.

“It is very high-end, but very low-key. (You) can have a big social life if they want, but turn around and be very private and quiet, too.”

The Hamptons, also known as the East End of Long Island, are a group of small communities in the towns of Southampton and East Hampton, forming the South Fork of Long Island, N.Y. The area has been a popular seaside resort for decades and is one of the historical summer colonies of the American Northeast.

Agents in this region have enjoyed one of the priciest and most luxurious markets in the country. Business Insider in 2016 listed the 11962 ZIP Code encompassing Sagaponack, within Southampton, as the most expensive in the U.S., with a median home sale price of $8.5 million.

Aerial view of Sagaponack luxury homes in NY

Every community with an affluent population has a community that serves as a magnet for those residents. Paris has a haven on the northern coast of Brittany, in a town called Dinard. In Southern Germany, the Hamptons equivalent is across the border in Austria. Lake Garda is favored by Milan’s elite.

What makes an area a magnet for the wealthy? A vacation destination’s proximity to a city is one factor. As an agent looking to make a comparison, Keszler said the values and current real estate prices may be critical.

“The Hamptons are a good investment. Depending on their location, of course, prices are really holding up.”

While Parisians aren’t likely to spend much more than $1 million on a property in Dinard, in the U.S. locales like Sonoma or Napa may stand up to the Hamptons.  Martin points out that prices there can range from about $4 million for a one-acre property.

“Or when there’s new construction on a one-acre property, it will start at $6 million or $7 million. It can go up past $10 million.”

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