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Wall Street Shops Smarter And Quieter In The Hamptons; Waiting For Bonuses To Drop

Ready, set, wait. That seems to be the pattern developing on the East End when it comes to big ticket real estate purchases. While all signs on Wall Street point to inflated bonuses, until the checks are in the mail, everyone's holding their breath and taking it slow because it's not just the size that matters, it's the liquidity, stupid. Instead of cash, many bonuses are being paid in stock this year--and let's face it, a stock certificate just isn't as much fun to throw on a bed and roll around on. Still, while rare, signs of 2006-level exuberance are out there: a banker recently dropped $19 million for an oceanfront "tear down" in Sagaponack. But modesty is the majority, as buyers are "staying away from high-profile properties, saying, ‘I don’t want to be seen as buying X’," says 30-year real estate veteran Tim Davis of Corcoran. Adds colleague Susan Breitenbach, "Even my customers who are billionaires are shopping smart."
· The Bonus Bounce [NYTimes]