The vacation season in the Hamptons is already half over, but many real estate agents on the South Fork of Long Island are banking that the summer sales frenzy has just begun. “In April or May, we get developers calling to ask why their houses haven’t sold,” says Andrew Saunders, the founder of Saunders & Associates, a Hamptons real estate broker. “But then in the second half of the summer, everything sells—it’s a defined trend.”
Home prices have fallen slightly over the past year, as has the rate of completed sales. That’s due to a 2014 surge in demand that drove up prices to a seven-year high. Owners then rushed to list homes to capitalize on the boom—and as a result, buyers had plenty of options,and the time to pick and choose.
Real estate brokers are hoping that the usual summer buying fever will pick up some of the slack. This is, after all, when they have the most captive audience. “People are upsizing, downsizing, renting, or here visiting from Europe,” says Dana Trotter, a broker at Sotheby’s International Realty. “But the bottom line is that this is when everyone is here, and this is when everyone is looking.”
Not coincidentally, the influx of visitors occurs right at the Hampton’s aesthetic peak. “Houses look their best this season,” Trotter says. “Everything is in bloom, and it’s sunny, and there are blue skies.” Compare that with trying to buy a home in January. “I just closed a house where the buyers had gone into contract when the house was under three feet of snow,” says Mala Sander, a broker at the Corcoran Group. “They’d never seen the grounds or the foliage—the snow was so deep, they couldn’t even make it to the pool house.”
“If anyone can classify a million-dollar home as an impulse,” it’s Hamptons regulars, says Sander. “There are certainly people who see something, peek in, and decide they have to have it. Maybe they’ve been lying in wait for something with this kind of square footage or acreage or property.”
An added plus for sellers: “A number of people who list in July have the expectation that they can spend the balance of the summer in their home,” says Saunders. “The deal isn’t going to close in a week.” In other words, homeowners can squeeze a final summer out of their beach house before moving on.
Trotter says that most midsummer listings cluster at both ends of the price spectrum—the comparatively low end, in the under $3 million range (remember folks, this is the Hamptons), and what Trotter calls the “luxury” market, from $15 million to $20 million and beyond. “I just listed a house for $32 million,” she says.
Below, some of the Hamptons highlights that have been listed since July 1:
$29 Million, East Hampton
This expansive house has 17,000 square feet of interior space and sits on 5.8 acres of land. The home has a pool, tennis court, home theater, fitness room, and 10 full bedrooms. Sotheby's.
$5.5 Million, Bridgehampton
The house has six bedrooms, four and a half baths, and an estimated total of 5,776 square feet. There’s a heated pool, gardens, and privet hedges on a total of 1.1 acres. Brown, Harris, Stevens.
$25.995 Million, Bridgehampton
From the roof terrace (and from most rooms in the house, for that matter) you can see both the ocean and Mecox Bay. The house has five bedrooms, five baths, a heated pool, and close to two and a half acres of land. Brown, Harris, Stevens.
$4.495 Million, Sagaponack
There are seven bedrooms and seven and a half baths in this 6,600-sq.-ft. house, which is set on a quiet two acres in the Sagaponack woods. The property includes a three-car garage, heated pool, and separate pool house. Brown, Harris, Stevens.
$95 Million, Wainscott
This colossal 18,000-sq.-ft. home is set on more than 24 acres of prime Georgica Pond real estate. Among its amenities are eight bedrooms, 14.5 baths, a pool, clay tennis courts, spa, exercise room, media room, guest house, green house, boat house, and elevator. Corcoran & Sotheby's.
$43 Million, Bridgehampton
This newly constructed modernist compound has 15,000 square feet of space, almost all of which overlooks Sagg pond, which leads to the ocean. The house has a tennis court, pool, and a wine room that can hold 1,800+ bottles. There's also a four-car garage, pool house, gym, and an art storage area, all on more than four and a half acres. Saunders.
$15.9 Million, Bridgehampton
The newly constructed, 7,400-sq.-ft. house sits on a 12-acre plot of land. Manicured grounds, a heated pool, and a tennis court are on the property. The house itself has a movie room, gym, bar, wine cellar, steam room, and sauna. Saunders.
$13.5 Million, Quogue
This 6,500-sq.-ft. home sits on more than four acres fronting the Shinnecock Bay. There are eight bedrooms, six and a half baths, and a gate house that was formerly a stable and windmill. There’s also a professional croquet field and boat house. Brown, Harris, Stevens.
$55 Million, East Hampton
When the carriage house has six bedrooms, you know you’re dealing on an immense scale. The plot itself comprises 11 parcels of land totaling 23 acres. The main house is 18,000 square feet and has 12 bedrooms. There are two other guest cottages, a tennis court, horse stables with paddocks, and riding fields. Sotheby's.
$32 Million, Bridgehampton
This is literally on the water—the house is set on the crest of a dune on 243 feet of beachfront and has bay views from the back. There are six bedrooms, six baths, and 4,250 square feet in total. Unique among most Bridgehampton beachfront homes, the house also has its own tennis court. Sotheby's.
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