Top-producing Hamptons broker Matthew Breitenbach and other real estate insiders talk about the new buyer demographic, shorter rental periods, and why Sag Harbor is hot.
NEW PRIME BUYERS
Judi Desiderio, CEO of Town & Country Real Estate, said that millennials looking for a place to reboot while working in the city would be the prime buying market in coming years. Matthew Breitenbach, top-producing broker in the Hamptons market, with a portfolio of over $1 billion in sales, agrees.
“The demographics of the buyer market are changing. There’s younger money in the market. They average in their thirties and love the Malibu vibe that the Hamptons represent. They also fall for more dynamic, modern homes.” The new market includes many Chinese buyers, along with a strong interest from European and British residents, too.
Other changes include the fact that more Hamptonites are renting their homes for shorter periods of time. Breitenbach said celebrities do short-term rentals at very high figures, citing as an example a major oceanfront home he rented for two months for $700,000, a sum that is not uncommon.
Joseph Kazickas said that certain economic factors, like the Federal Reserve’s tightening of interest rates, would negatively impact real estate. Other experts have pointed to global economic uncertainty, such as Brexit, that has led to stock volatility. According to Breitenbach, such volatility helps real estate values, and the Hamptons will benefit because of their appeal to international buyers.
John Christopher, associate broker of Brown Harris Stevens, cited 2015 as a stellar year, although Breitenbach saw 2014 as peak. “The mood of the market had changed until last month, when there was a great vibe and more inventory,” says Breitenbach. “The high end of the market reignited and the majority of sales soared from the $2 million to the $10 million categories, with a few $20 million–plus properties also trading.” He pointed to the fact that he sold over $30 million of real estate in the last month “The Hamptons are an international brand,” says Breitenbach. ”There are great homes to invest in and easier, faster air travel, which makes the Hamptons more accessible than ever before.”
Breitenbach is very bullish on Sag Harbor. ”It used to be a blue-collar little fishing village that’s now vibrant, growing, and unique,” he says. There’s tremendous development and a lot of good inventory.”