Vanity Fair has nice long piece on post-financial crisis Hamptons, and he main is basically: Yes, it’s exactly how you imagine it is.
Cheaper rents, cratering home prices, bitter acrimony among once happily-married couples, rich guys leaving their wives for 22-year old yoga teachers, wives getting big payouts since they never had a pre-nup. Is any of that a surprise? Probably not really.
If there’s any ‘surprise’ it’s that the Hamptons won’t be totally dead this summer, but then nobody really actually thinks that.
There are plenty of fun anecdotes in there, but our favourite is this one, about a mythical Hamptons real-estate vulture:
All winter, the story that kept spreading—details varied in the telling—was of a rich buyer who came to the Hamptons (from New York; from Greenwich, Connecticut; sometimes from London) demanding to see 10 $5 million properties, then sneered that he’d take any or all of them for $2.5 million apiece. The story’s usual ending was that he bagged at least two that way. Corcoran’s Diane Saatchi was so intrigued that she e-mailed brokers up and down the East End and asked if any could verify it. “Many had heard from clients as far away as England about the rumour,” she reports, “but no one knew who it was. It was urban legend.”
Meanwhile, if you’re interested, you can rent out the house of Madoff-feeders Walter & Monica Noel (no charity events for them this summer?), but it sounds like they don’t realise the market’s tanked:
A block or so farther on First Neck is Walter Noel’s place, a large shingled house with wraparound porches overlooking Lake Agawam. Noel’s Fairfield Greenwich Group, Bernie Madoff’s biggest feeder fund, took management fees of 1 per cent, plus 20 per cent of the illusory profits, on the $7.5 billion that it claimed to manage wisely. Noel and Fairfield say they were unaware of Madoff’s $65 billion Ponzi scheme, but angry investors have sued them for negligence. For the first time, the Noels have put their house up for rent. Like Cioffi, they’re asking top dollar from a market that’s all but vanished: $350,000 for July, $375,000 for August.
(Photo via JoeShlabotnik)