Key Highlights

  • Southampton single-family and condo markets hot with bidding wars
  • Hamptons tenants transitioning to Hamptons homeowners
  • Buyers purchasing sight unseen

Recently, we reported that the Hamptons summer rental season had extended into October and beyond. Now, we’re reporting that signed contracts for single-family homes and condominiums in the Hamptons are exploding.

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According to a Douglas Elliman report on August sales in the Hamptons, new-signed contracts for single-family homes more than doubled compared to one year ago at this time.

This uptick in demand began when the COVID pandemic hit and Manhattanites began fleeing NYC in March and April. Homes in the Hamptons rented for 20-50% above asking prices and then, “it was clear there wasn’t enough product,” said Jonathan Miller, president and chief executive of Miller Samuel who had written the Elliman report. “These consumers began buying homes and it has not stopped.”

The shift from renting to buying is seen as “practical” by industry experts. Enzo Morabito, and associate broker with Douglas Elliman, said, “The rent started to equal what it would cost you to buy a house with the new (historically low mortgage) rates.

Miller sees this shift as a “repositioning of the Hamptons from a second-home market to a co-primary or longer-term market than it had been in the past.” Matt Breitenbach, an associate broker with Compass, calls this shift “seismic.” Breitenbach said, “Those who lived in the city mainly came out on weekends; now they are out here mainly and maybe go back to the city for a weekend…after COVID, it is acceptable and in fact preferred…” particularly among those working remotely.

Some 50% of Elliman’s deals have multiple offers on homes priced from $1M – $2M and many multiple offers on homes in the $2M t0 $4M range. Breitenbach’s team put some $40M worth of homes into contract in August, most in the range of $3M to $6M.

Steven Dubb, a principal with the developer Beechwood Homes, sold eight 3-bedroom townhouses priced in the mid-$3M to $4M range off of floor plans. Dubb believes that demand for this development’s townhouses would have been there “no matter what,” but that “COVID poured gasoline on it.”

People from all over (not only Manhattanites) who have spent time with their families in the Hamptons as tenants every summer are now using floor plans, FaceTime, virtual tours, photographs, whatever they can get their hands on to live full time in the Hamptons as owners “…especially after all of this,” said Erin Ferris Smith and Jason Smith of Houston.

 

Thanks to The New York Times.

Also read: Big Bargains in the Hamptons, Zillow Not Seeing Exodus from Cities to Suburbs…Yet, Urban Exodus & Lower Prices?