Underneath the laid-back, beachy vibe the East End has cultivated on its sandy shores all these years, beyond the pristine and glittering waters it presents as its public face, there exists a rare species of real estate broker that lives and dies to make a sale. A broker who thrives on beating out the competition. One who will do anything — anything — to get an exclusive listing. These are the few, the proud, the chosen, who have landed on The Real Deal’s annual ranking of top Hamptons brokers.
All right, that’s a bit melodramatic. But being a top broker is no easy feat — we don’t have to tell you that. And with sales getting off to a slow start on the East End for most of the first half of the year — and average prices in the luxury sector falling more than 24 percent in the first quarter compared to a year earlier — the market has been tougher than usual. However, the brokers we spoke to said activity had picked up significantly as of mid-June, and they’re feeling optimistic about the state of the market.
The rental market was also plagued by a particularly slow start. We look at how brokers are dealing with renters who aren’t interested in leasing for the full summer season. We also investigate the impact the stricter regulations on short-term rentals have had on the market.
The summer season also welcomed StreetEasy to the East End with its acquisition of Hamptons Real Estate Online. We talked to the Zillow-owned company and East End brokers about how the new ownership might change HREO — for better or for worse.
On the commercial side of things, we looked at the spate of new retail hitting Southampton and whether the trend will last. We also examined the changes hitting the hotel market, which still has a shortage of rooms.
Finally, the Hamptons isn’t just known for its supple sands and aquamarine waters — it’s also known for its glittering stars. We trace how effectively bigwigs from Michael Bloomberg to Alec Baldwin used their fame to get their way in real estate (or not). We also talked to architect Andre Kikoski, a star in his own right whose design imprint can be found on everything from a $45 million Bridgehampton spec home to the Guggenheim’s restaurant to Manhattan’s Hudson Yards.
Enjoy the issue.