Hamptons rentals shoot for seven-figure paydays

Owners benefit from low inventory, but renters now have more international options

Corcoran Hamptons' Susan Breitenbach and 155 Surfside Drive in Bridgehampton (Corcoran)
Corcoran Hamptons' Susan Breitenbach and 155 Surfside Drive in Bridgehampton (Corcoran)

Renters may have to pay a pretty penny to summer in the Hamptons this year, but some signs point to aspirational pricing that won’t hold up.

South Fork owners are seeking record rents for the season, more than $1 million per month in some cases, Bloomberg reported. Landlords are hoping demand remains as high as it has been throughout the pandemic.

The market is being paced by a home in Bridgehampton. According to Bloomberg, the landlord at 155 Surfside Drive is asking for a jaw-dropping $1.65 million just for July. Another beachfront property down the street is asking $1.25 million for the month.

The properties’ worth will be determined by what renters are willing to shell out, but there’s a sentiment the prices may be too steep. Although East End rental inventory is limited, summer sojourners have options, including international locations that have reopened following pandemic closures.

“I think some of those prices were a little bit over-inflated,” Corcoran Hamptons broker Susan Breitenbach told Bloomberg.

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The Hamptons rental market was hot last summer. There were 16,645 bookings from Memorial Day to Labor Day, totaling $117 million, according to StayMarquis. That was up 9 percent from the previous year.

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Short-term rentals have been strong in recent years. According to data from AirDNA reported by Bloomberg, the average daily rate for rentals in the Hamptons from May to September went up 22 percent from 2018 to 2021. Occupancy and average daily rates have surged year-round during the pandemic.

But there are signs the other sandal is about to drop. The number of nights booked from June to August is down an average of 34 percent from a year ago, AirDNA data reveals. The average daily rate is also down each month from April to September, including a 14 percent decline in June.

Seasonal rentals traditionally run from Memorial Day through Labor Day and are not reflected in the AirDNA data.

One issue that has cropped up for seasonal rentals is that state legislators passed a law banning landlords from collecting several months’ rent in advance, and later enacted an eviction moratorium that protected squatters, including a real estate agent and a developer.

In response, East Hampton this year set out to create a way for landlords to collect summer rent upfront, as they did before the law changed.

[Bloomberg] — Holden Walter-Warner