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Hamptons Agents Sum Up 2015 in Real Estate, Part I

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We asked a number of prominent local agents their conclusions about the year that just passed and make some predictions for the future. Today we have the ever-popular Anonymous, Ann Ciardullo and Chris Chapin.

[Photo credit: Claudio Divizia/shutterstock]

A thought from a broker who shall remain nameless:
The companies are all on a recruiting kick and paying bonuses, extremely high splits and rolling out lavish marketing plans/announcements to lure agents to jump companies. But what they're doing is basically cannibalizing each other, killing their bottom lines and alienating their more loyal and productive agents. I can't see this continuing for much longer; it doesn't make financial sense.

Ann Ciardullo, Sotheby's
How was business in 2015 compared to other years?
The first fifteen years of this century in Hamptons real estate have been nothing less than amazing. Some things never change, of course: water is king (or queen). "On the…", "near the…" , "views of…" "just steps to…" the ocean, bay, or lake. And we've seen record prices broken, and broken, and broken. We've watched "new" become the most sought after feature in a home—following years of "sell me a project."

I predict that the last five years of this decade are going to be the beginning of yet another new era. We now have had enough "tear down/build bigger and better" that we are going to see significant neighborhood transformations. The near-village communities are already well on their way, but other sections are ripe for upgrade.

Not every home buyer is a pioneer or courageous enough to find the perfect location and scrape away and start from scratch. But once one, two, or three people have already had the guts to do it on any given street, others will soon follow. We're going to see the emergence of whole new wonderful communities.

Remember, the people who got here twenty, thirty and forty years ago picked out some of the most beautiful locations, but often built homes that just didn't stand the test of time. I'm encouraging many of my buyers to find the place they want to be, with the view and sky and landscape they want for themselves or their family—and have the bulldozer warmed up on closing day. If you want to know which areas I think will be the most sought after, give me a call!

Chris Chapin, Elliman
How was business in 2015 compared to other years?
Business in 2015 has been equally as strong as in the previous year, but more mercurial, with pulses of intense activity punctuating stretches of relative calm. We had several bidding wars in late summer resulting in offers that shot past asking. And after a steady autumn, we have been fielding multiple bids again in December.

What was the most interesting thing to happen in Hamptons real estate this year?
The entry of some of the very new startups into the Hamptons real estate industry has been a little too interesting. But there is room for everybody. My fellow agents and I consider ourselves fortunate to work with a strong, substantial, established presence: Douglas Elliman.

What's the thing you're most proud of personally for accomplishing this year?
The Lord Chapin team (Ray Lord III and me) continues to be the leader in the field (literally as well as figuratively) of selling properties for conservation. The future South Fork will be more green and blue because of us. We are also proud to be the top recruiters and mentors of new agents not just for Douglas Elliman, but in the industry, in the Hamptons.

What's the current hottest real estate market?
That is a moving target. As soon as you commit to saying that one place is hot, another has caught fire. We are a hundred miles from the capital of the world; so really, everything is hot

What areas do you see rising in the future?

What's your outlook for 2016?
No point in making a prognostication. Life can turn on a dime. Our professional goal is to continue to achieve the highest possible prices for our seller clients.