How About A Hamptons House For Xmas?


If you are still looking for a last minute gift, there’s always the Hamptons.

The tony real estate market is becoming downright affordable.

The Improper: The average sales price in the Hamptons was $1.5 million in the third quarter of 2008, down 11.1 per cent from the previous quarter and down 23.3 per cent from the third quarter of 2007, according to Prudential Douglas Elliman’s latest quarterly report.

Considering who makes the market that trend doesn’t seem to be reversing anytime soon.

[Diane Saatchi, senior vice president at Corcoran Group Real Estate in East Hampton] estimates that 25 per cent to 30 per cent of homeowners and potential buyers are from the financial sector.

But Wall Street — once the source of bonus-rich buyers who bid up Hamptons properties to stratospheric levels — is a shadow of its former self.

…When Wall Street sneezes, the Hamptons gets a cold. I remember seeing the same thing out there in 1989 and 1990, when the market went into a complete standstill,” said Eric Ellenbogen, co-founder of media company Boomerang Media TV, who put his $5.695 million second home in East Hampton up for sale six months ago and also has yet to receive an offer.

Agents are advising clients not to withdraw their languishing houses from the market, as those numbers are tallied. It seems former Lehman COO Joseph Gregory is taking their advice. Lovely as his $32.5 million house is, what with its eight bedrooms, pool, green lawns, and path to the ocean, it’s been available since the summer. And, as we told you earlier this month he’s considering renting it out. He’s not alone.

But most Hamptons sellers still want top dollar for their properties, so renting may become more of an option. Summer rental prices, which can range broadly from $12,000 to $1 million for the season, seem to be holding steady. “This upcoming summer season will be all about renting,” Saatchi said.

I’m sure the neighbours will be thrilled with all the temporary occupants. (But, really, let’s face it, they’re probably going to be renting, too.)


Hat Tip: Curbed

Images via The Improper.

See also: Houses of the Crash (Slideshow)