The demand for rentals in the Hamptons is so huge right now that one couple is paying $10,000 a month for a renovated ‘fisherman’s shack’ — and that’s on the low end of the price range

A beach house in the Hamptons. ‘Fisherman’s shack’ rental not pictured. Miles Astray/Getty Images

More people are flocking to the Hamptons amid the coronavirus pandemic, causing rental prices to soar and leaving many priced out of the market entirely.

As Marcelle Sussman Fischler for the New York Times reports, there are several factors that play into why even well-off people are finding themselves unable to rent in the Hamptons right now: there are more hopeful renters than usual; some Hamptons homeowners who typically rent out their homes during this time have decided not to, wary about the state’s moratorium on evictions; and rental prices are rising because of rising demand, even leading to “bidding wars” among potential tenants.

One Jersey City, New Jersey, couple who spoke to the Times, Jill-Mandy and Carlo Voutta, said they’re renting a renovated 1930s “fisherman’s shack” in Southampton for $US10,000 a month, with the rental price set to increase to $US12,000 a month starting in July. While it’s unclear what the “fisherman’s shack” would typically go for at this time of year, other Hamptons rental properties are seeing demonstrable increases in price year-over-year: Business Insider previously reported that the famed 17,000-square-foot “Sandcastle” mansion Beyonce and Jay-Z once rented for $US1 million a season recently rented for $US2 million.

The influx of visitors also started earlier than usual. The Hamptons rental season typically begins on Memorial Day and lasts until Labour Day, according to the Times. But this year, because of the pandemic, families began renting homes in the ritzy Long Island area as early as March. Now, as Memorial Day approaches, seasonal visitors who usually rent around this time are having a harder time finding a “desirable” home, with the amenities they want, like a heated pool.

The Times reports that the wealthiest of the would-be renters are now willing to pay even more money for what they want. Aimee Fitzpatrick Martin, an associate broker with Saunders & Associates, told the publication that renters are increasing their budgets “several times in order to find a rental that worked for all their needs with all the amenities they wanted.”

Homeowners that usually put their places up for rent have also been more hesitant this time around, according to the Times, leading to fewer available homes for visitors. On May 7, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo extended the state’s moratorium on evictions until August 20. This means landlords cannot evict renters who are unable to pay rent or who refuse to leave, Business Insider previously reported.

The current spike of interest in Hamptons rentals isn’t unprecedented, however. Dottie Herman, chief executive of Douglas Elliman, told the Times that the current market is similar to what she saw after 9/11 when there was also a surge in wealthy people hoping to leave the city and temporarily retreat to the Hamptons.

“The demand will be great and the supply will be limited,” Herman told the Times. “We are searching for rentals. They are hard.”