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Are Fears Of A Tax Rate Hike Creating A "Frenzy" Out Here?

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Today's Daily News features an interesting read concerning an end-of-the-year spike in Hamptons home sales. Fearing an increase in capital gains taxes come January 1st, area homeowners have apparently "launched a selling spree, offering fire sale prices." Once again, the Hamptons market is red hot and there's never been a better time to buy...or sell! At least that's the impression given by the real estate folks quoted in the article.

According to Corcoran district manager Ernie Cervi, "The feeling here is reminiscent of the market highs of 2005." Never one to be outdone when it comes to giving good soundbite, Prudential's Enzo Morabito offered, "There is a frenzy here right now. People know they save money if they sell now. I have very willing sellers and hot buyers who want to take advantage of the low interest rates that might go away next year as well. They know they lose money if they wait..." And rounding out the fear-mongering/cheerleading is another one of Prudential's top brokers, Paul Brennan: "The window is closing. If you're anticipating any fiscal cliff, you better sell now."

The piece is sprinkled with a few examples that back the claims, but anecdotal evidence isn't exactly the most reliable. We'll just have to wait until the 4th quarter numbers are released to learn whether or not the year ended on a high note.*
· Hamptons mansion sales spike ahead of possible jump in tax rates [NY Daily News]

[*Our prediction: The numbers are down compared to 2011 and everyone offers Hurricane Sandy as the reason why.]