July 13, 2022
Summer is well under way out on the East End, and with it the usual crowds, parties, traffic, openings, special events, impossible parking, hard to get reservations, and a run at the wine stores on rosé (A Brief History of Rosé). And while we have experienced a completely lackluster and underwhelming rental market, the next big question and conversation at parties seems to be what can we expect for the sales market.
Let's start with some simple facts as refreshers. While we have seen the inventory / new contract signing even out over the last few months, with slightly more homes coming to market than getting scooped up, we are still at all-time lows in inventory. Interest rates are well above where they were at the beginning of the year, but far from historic highs, and in fact late June and July have shown rates actually reduce. And finally, regardless of economic conditions, we hit critical mass well before 2020, and there quite simply is no more land to expand upon.
So with all of that, I think we can paraphrase Mark Twain and say that reports of the death of the Hamptons market are greatly exaggerated. Buyers who are now holding out expecting a collapse on pricing will be greatly disappointed in my opinion. While Wall Street suffers setback after setback, the Hamptons market seems to have been decoupled and is no longer in lock-step with the Dow Jones and NASDAQ. While I do think the entry level of the market (below $2m+/-) may see pricing reduce somewhat - we see a higher percentage of Buyers requiring financing here, and thus there needs to be some sort of compensation - the Luxury segment is still showing incredible strength, and quite simply, there are far more Buyers than Sellers. And with Wall Street a volatile roller coaster, parking capital in Hamptons Real Estate seems like a safe bet, and certainly more exciting than Treasury Bonds.
At the end of the day, this is The Hamptons, and people will do what they have to do to be here. I am happy to jump on a call and can dig way deeper into this, but wanted to provide a quick and honest best guess.
And July 14th is Bastille Day, so for those wishing to share a little joie de vivre, there are plenty of places on the East End to get your French on. There is always Pierre's in Bridgehampton and their famous costumed parade through traffic on Main Street, but also try Marie Eiffel’s market in Shelter Island, Le Bilboquet in Sag Harbor, Le Charlot in Southampton, and go to Armin & Judy in Bridgehampton for a proper baguette.
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