The Times checks in on the Hamptons real estate market and, while we have nothing but love for the Gray Lady, not a lot of surprises here. A quick rundown of the salient points:
·2009 wasn't great for business, but not as bad as originally feared. Plus, end of the year bounce!
·Sales prices have fallen, but not off a cliff.
·Closing deals at 10%-13% off the last asking price is the norm.
·Rentals are looking strong so far, but owners are still keeping prices at '09 levels.
·The early rental bird gets the well-furnished worm. Not picky? Wait around and grab a steal closer to summer.
·Compromise is key for both buyers and sellers. “Anytime someone draws a line in the sand — whether it’s a buyer or a seller — the deal is not getting done," says one East End broker.
For the final word, we turn to market appraiser Jonathan Miller to put it all in perspective. “In many ways the Hamptons is outperforming expectations during the downturn,” he said. And while Wall Street bonuses are giving the market a bump now, high unemployment and stubborn lenders will keep things in check going forward. “...Do I think (Wall Street bonuses are) going to create some sort of housing boom? No way.”
· A Frigid Hamptons Market Thaws to Lukewarm [NY Times]