The Covert Report - Changes in the air

June 1, 2022


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Good afternoon from the Team HQ in Bridgehampton, and hoping everyone had a fantastic holiday weekend.

As we head into the summer months, I wanted to take a quick reflection of where we are with the Hamptons Real Estate Market, and share some thoughts about where we think things are headed. For two months in a row (and likely three when the May numbers come in) we will have seen a balancing of inventory with more new listings coming to market than those going into contract. We anticipate that trend to accelerate as several factors continue to press change in the market. As has been previously covered by multiple media sources, the terrible run this spring on Wall Street, raising interest rates and inflationary concerns, war in Ukraine, stabilization of Covid, a dramatic increase in travel and other factors have contributed to a changing and uncertain real estate market. But, I have to ask if there may be some other forces beginning to come into play?

Historically, Hamptons real estate has been treated like a commodities market. People would essentially buy and sell at will, upgrading, downsizing, changing locations, north of the highway to south of the highway, south of the highway to the center of town, farm fields to waterfront with dock. The market was fluid, and changes were frequently made at will. And with lots of inventory, it was easy to move into the next bright shiny thing. But that all came to screeching halt in 2020. Hard stop.

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With many people spending a decade’s worth of use in a second home over the last 26 months, I have to ask if we might begin to experience the Seven Year Itch? For a population of homeowners used to commoditizing their properties, is it time for a change? My instinct is that as we see more quality inventory come to market, the bright-shiny-thing syndrome may reignite, and we should see fluidity return to the market, and with that, a stabilization of pricing (if not a complete correction). Time will tell, but it feels like change is in the air this summer.