Hamptons Open Houses Are Packed in Sign of a Robust Sales Season

Hamptons Open Houses Are Packed in Sign of a Robust Sales Season

  • Bloomberg
  • 03/11/24

Real estate agents in the Hamptons, the Long Island beach towns popular with Wall Street elites and vacationers alike, are bracing for a brisk sales season.

Homeowners on the East End are listing their properties for sale in greater numbers than they were a year ago, and would-be buyers are pouncing. On a recent warm Sunday afternoon, “every open house had people coming through,” said Todd Bourgard, chief executive officer for Long Island at Douglas Elliman Real Estate. “All the cafes and the sidewalks, everything was full. It just had that real good feeling to it.”

Corcoran Group is marketing 171 Great Hill Road in Southampton, a modern house on more than 2 acres of land that’s priced at $6.995 million.Source: Corcoran Group

Agents say they’ve only gotten busier since then, preparing new listings and negotiating deals as people who had been circling the market for a while are jumping in.

“Everyone was waiting for something,” Bourgard said. “The buyers were waiting to see if prices would come down, and prices not only held steady, they crept up. And homeowners are realizing that we are in a very, very good market for sellers.”


Deals in the Hamptons typically pick up in the spring, but this season is expected to be especially lively relative to recent years, when a lack of inventory, rising mortgage rates and worries about the economy froze purchases. Buyer confidence started picking up toward the end of 2023 as borrowing costs ticked down and financial markets were on a roll. Sellers, in turn, see opportunities to cash in on rising demand and prices that have hit record highs.


“In 2023, there was a lot of talk about a looming recession,” said Tal Alexander, co-founder of brokerage Official, which specializes in luxury sales. “It never came, and I think a lot of that fear is gone now.”


Owners brought 116 single-family homes to the market last month, 51% more than in the previous February, data from Elliman and appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. show. That was on the heels of a 16% annual increase in new listings in January. With more fresh offerings available, the number of buyer contracts also climbed. Deals were up 9% from a year earlier in January and 44% in February.

One listing that hit last month is 171 Great Hill Road in Southampton, a 5,261-square-foot (489-square-meter) modern house on 2.39 acres (.97 hectares) of land, priced at $6.995 million. The Corcoran Group is marketing the property, which has a swimming pool and a tennis court and abuts a nature preserve.

That home contributed to a 136% annual leap last month in new Hamptons listings priced from $5 million to $9.99 million, according to Elliman and Miller Samuel.

The newly built house at 134 Herrick Road in Southampton is listed at $21.95 million.Source: Real Shot Studios/Douglas Elliman

Three homes with asking prices of $20 million or more reached the market in February, up from one last year. Elliman has the $21.95 million listing for 134 Herrick Road in Southampton. The newly built, 7,570-square-foot house on a .85-acre lot is just a few blocks from shops and restaurants, as well as less than a mile from the beach.

Inventory has far to go before it can be considered normal by historic standards. At the end of last year, 996 single-family homes were on the market in the Hamptons, the firms said. That was 15% more than a year earlier, but well below the 1,831 houses that were available at the end of 2019.

Options that are move-in ready, or close to it, are especially in short supply, as are listings “south of the highway,” or between the major Hamptons thoroughfare Route 27 and the Atlantic Ocean, according to Alexander of Official.


“Inventory is still very scarce,” he said. “There’s definitely more buyers out there than there are real sellers.”

People paying cash, or those willing to borrow at mortgage rates currently hovering around 6.9%, are getting in now, before the market gets even more cutthroat, said Pam Liebman, CEO of the Corcoran Group.

“Buyers that were sitting on the sidelines are starting to get nervous that if interest rates do start to come down, there’ll be more competition in the market and prices may even go up further,” Liebman said.

Hamptons Home Costs Hit a Record High

Properties have traded at more than double their pre-pandemic prices

Source: Miller Samuel Inc. and Douglas Elliman Real Estate

The median price for a single-family home in the Hamptons reached a record $1.85 million in the fourth quarter, up 45% from a year earlier, according to Elliman and Miller Samuel. For luxury homes — the top 10% of the market — the median price was $12.6 million, a 87% jump from the fourth quarter of 2022.

A growing pool of homes on the market may encourage even more owners to list theirs. People feel more comfortable about selling when they see other places that they’d like to buy for themselves, according to Elliman’s Bourgard.

“Most people that are selling are staying out here,” Bourgard said. “They want to upgrade or to downsize. But when inventory was low, they’d say ‘I want to sell but we have nowhere to go.’ Now, they’re beginning to see inventory to move into.”



You can read the article on Bloomberg here.

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