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Hamptons summer housing market already hot

24 Apr 2013 12:52 PM
Hamptons summer housing market already hot

Some people were worried that the extensive damage caused by Hurricane Sandy to areas in and around New York City could put a damper on real estate prices and activity this year, but recent figures suggest that this is far from the case. Even before summer has hit, which is typically the Hamptons' busiest homebuying season, there has been a flurry of real estate purchases.

According to The New York Times, there have already been a number of high-profile sales throughout the Hamptons. Unsurprisingly, much of this activity has been in the luxury home market, as Harald Grant, a senior vice president of Sotheby's International Realty, reports having several pending sales for properties up to $25 million.

New trend?
The high price tags of these properties notwithstanding, Grant told the source that he has noticed a shift away from the hulking homes of the pre-recession market. Instead, he said, people are looking for immaculate, slightly smaller Hamptons real estate options.

"In general what's different this season is that in the mind of most buyers, less is more, and nobody wants to be the king of the hill and flaunt their wealth the way people were doing before the recession," said Grant, according to the source. "Folks who could be driving a Rolls-Royce are settling for a Mercedes."

Going strong
However, much of the data suggests that this anecdotal evidence might not be telling the whole story. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, home prices in the region rose to their highest recorded levels at the end of 2012, as the high end of the market tugged prices upward. The average home price in the Hamptons rose by 35 percent to $2.13 million between the fourth quarters of 2011 and 2012. Some experts believe that this spike resulted from buyers becoming anxious about 2013's anticipated tax hikes. Either way, buyers came out in record numbers during the fourth quarter of 2012 to scoop up increasingly valuable Hamptons homes.

Rental market just as hot
It's not just homes that are experiencing heightened demand. According to the Times, rental properties have been hotly pursued in the last few months. Many people are heading to the area looking for spectacular summer rentals, either for a month at a time or for the entire season. Despite worries that the season might be slower than average due to Sandy's impact, these recent figures suggest that the summer of 2013 will be a hectic one in terms of Hamptons real estate.