Montauk Real Estate Market Shows Signs of
High-end homes in the Hamptons are starting to
sell again, spurred by recent positive trends on Wall Street. Photo
by Corcoran Group.
With the real estate and homebuilding market bumping along the
bottom, builders and investors in coastal markets are hungry for
any optimistic news. Among the flickering signs of hope for a
building industry rebound this month: Observers say the upscale
housing market in Hamptons of Long Island, New York's, east end,
may be starting to rebound.
Southhampton and Easthampton, the towns out at the end of Long
Island, are famous as a getaway and party scene for the rich and
famous — home to rock stars, supermodels, and sports heroes.
And "while the luxury real-estate market remains moribund in most
parts of the country," reports the Wall Street Journal, "there are
a few signs of a nascent turnaround in the Hamptons." ("Hamptons
Show Signs of Life," by Sara Lin and Christina S. N.
Why are the Hamptons bucking the general slow trend? Economist
David Lereah blogs that the Long Island market is heavily
influenced by trends on Wall Street, which have been positive in
recent months ("The
Rich and Famous are Buying Homes Again," by David Lereah).
"This is a case where wealthy households ignore market
fundamentals," argues Lereah. "For example, large Wall Street
bonuses were distributed to management, traders, and institutional
salesmen in the second quarter. It is likely that many of these
recipients waited until the third quarter to pull the trigger on
purchasing a summer getaway."
Among this summer's eager Hamptons buyers was Today Show co-host
Matt Lauer, reports the Wall Street Journal ("Matt
Lauer, 'Today' Co-Host, Buys in Hamptons," by Sara Lin). Lauer
paid the full asking price ($2.15 million) for a 1,500-sqft
Cape-style house on the water in Southampton.
Sales are still off in comparison with recent years, the Journal
notes — and so are prices. But some sellers have been offered
more than the asking price, and traffic in real estate offices and
at open house events has been brisk, according to realtors with
Hamptons heavyweight broker the Corcoran Group.
One more sign of the times?
When Federal marshals put the confiscated home of convicted Ponzi
scheme scammer Bernie Madoff up for auction, demand was strong
— and the high bidder reportedly offered more than the
government's asking price for the 3,000-sqft house, reports MSNBC
beach home sells for about $8.75M," by the Associated Press).
What do you get for that? Well, the home's interior and decor is
nothing special, according to reports; but the building's 1.2-acre
lot in the Montauk dunes, plus "stunning" views of the sea, make it
a prize catch for the anonymous high bidder. For a tour of the
Madoff house, check out this page from CNN.com ("Madoff's
Montauk home: Big views, modest decor," by Les Christie). Still
on the market: Madoff's $9-million Manhattan town-home, and a Palm
Beach house valued at around $11 million.