UP for grabs on the East End

For the price of small apartment, luxury Hamptons rentals, with requisite swimming pools and tennis courts, are asking more than ever to play for the summer

38 Two Mile Hollow Road, East Hampton

The Hamptons sales market may be stalled, but that translates into good news for those still looking for rental property for the summer.

First, the bad news. According to a new report from East End real estate firm Town & Country, luxury homes are still in a slump. Sales in the first quarter “clearly show a tremendous pullback on the high end,” Judi Desiderio, Town & Country’s CEO, said in the report. She also described the statistics as “sad.”

The number of sales for homes priced $3.5 million to $4.99 million fell 11 percent in the first quarter of 2017, compared with the year-ago quarter, and fell six percent for homes priced $5 million to $9.99 million in the same period.

In the super-luxury price ranges of $10 million to $19.99 million and $20-plus million, there was one sale in each range — a drop-off from last year, which saw a handful of sales of super-luxury homes.

While buyers appear spooked, a trend that began last year with slimmer Wall Street bonuses and post-election economic uncertainty, there are opportunities for luxury renters.

As of late April, there were 10 homes listed on Hamptons Real Estate Online asking between $800,000 and $1 million for the full Memorial Day to Labor Day season, two homes available for $1 million and $1.2 million for the full season and two other homes asking $1 million for either the month of July or the month of August. And a nine-bath home in Southampton was still available for a jaw-dropping $2.25 million for the full season.

“People are much more relaxed
this year about spending.”
Susan Breitenbach of The Corcoran Group

The number of luxury rentals available in the Hamptons this year is about the same as it was last year, said Susan Breitenbach of The Corcoran Group, who claims that owners “are definitely getting higher prices compared to last year.”

Breitenbach pointed out the “stock market is good, the election is over — no matter whether you think there’s a good or bad outcome.” In late March, she noted, “I have done leases in all price ranges up to $1.2 million and currently have seven contracts out for sale in all price ranges and areas. I see no sign of it slowing and I have no doubt it will be a very busy spring and summer in the Hamptons.”

Similiarly, Erica Grossman of Douglas Elliman said that “the rental market this year is much stronger than last year.” She noted that “you will find that prices are on par, particularly if a tenant rents the same home, which happens often, or above last year’s levels.”

Economic conditions aside, the appeal of the East End — with its wind-sculpted dunes, shingled windmills and golden light glinting off the bays — is timeless. Regulars know it has some of the best beaches in the country, and part of the thrill is the mix of high and low, like laid-back lobster shacks and Manhattan-quality eateries. Case in point: this summer Eleven Madison Square Park takes its place among East End favorites with a pop-up at 341 Pantigo Road in East Hampton while the seminal Manhattan location undergoes a renovation.

Newcomers to the Hamptons luxury market will get a welcome surprise: In the Hamptons owners pay the broker’s fee. And it makes a lot of sense to get a broker’s help finding a summer home because the main source for rentals, Hamptons Real Estate Online (HREO.com), is tricky to navigate.

In terms of location, the most desired areas remain south of the highway and oceanfront, and properties that are located near or in the village centers. Grossman said some luxury tenants will rent only in Southampton, while others will rent only in East Hampton, but, she said, “I have seen a growing desire for Southampton” thanks to its closer proximity to Manhattan compared with towns farther east.

Of course, complaining about the traffic out east is a socially acceptable way to brag about your Hamptons spread. That is, until you are seated next to someone who flies in, in which case, don’t say anything about the traffic.

As a far as amenities, there are several baseline expectations. Harald Grant of Sotheby’s International Realty said that homes “better have central air conditioning and a large heated pool, to start.

“But in truth, the upper-level rentals have both of those, and the majority have tennis too. Rental customers often bring their own staff and pets, so properties must be prepared to handle those,” Grant said, noting that summer tenants bringing pets can expect to pay an additional security deposit. “The best properties often have world-class art and are professionally decorated. Most have finished lower levels with gyms, steam and saunas, media rooms, game rooms, wine storage. Some have golf carts to move around the estate or go to the beach.”

So gas up your golf cart. On these pages are a selection of listings available for your best Hamptons summer, provided by brokers. Rental periods cited here are for Memorial Day through Labor Day, although one-month rentals may be available as well.

40 Dune Road, Bridgehampton: $800,000
5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, 1 half bathroom; 5,100 square feet

What do they say about people in glass houses? That they should throw big parties? This newly built modern home has over 300 feet along the water and views of the Atlantic Ocean and Mecox Bay from its top-floor deck. The gathering spaces on the main floor, including the living room with fireplace, open dining and gourmet kitchen, face floor-to-ceiling glass windows that open onto the rear 1,800-square-foot deck and heated infinity-edge gunite pool. Floating staircases with exposed iron supports lend a modern touch. The home is also available for sale — it can be yours for a cool $23 million. Erica Grossman of Douglas Elliman has this listing.

396 Meadow Lane, Southampton Village

396 Meadow Lane, Southampton Village: $800,000
10 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms; 7,000 square feet

This shingled mansion is set on almost four manicured acres with 350 feet of beach frontage in the Estates section of Southampton, a desirable location south of the highway. It features open living space, central air and a gourmet kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances, a large breakfast area and formal dining room. Outside there’s an oceanside pool, guesthouse, sauna, tennis court and three-car garage. In prior years, this home has been on the rental market asking as much as $1 million for the summer. It’s owned by Mark Heller, a criminal defense attorney whose clients have included “Son of Sam” serial killer David Berkowitz and troubled actress Lindsay Lohan. Erica Grossman of
Douglas Elliman also represents this listing.

56 Barnhart Street, Southampton: $675,000
8 bedrooms, 10 baths; 9,000 square feet

If you like white and soothing pastels, this home is for you. It’s a traditional home with a pale paint palette that sits on 2.5 acres near the village and close to ocean beaches. According to the Fashion Times, the owners spent years building the home to reflect their European heritage and love for the Hamptons. It has classic details like a gambrel roof, two-story foyer with a window seat over the front door and decorative molding galore. There are also six fireplaces, a full basement, central air, two-car garage, tennis court and heated pool.

92 Pheasant Lane, Southampton Village

32 Pheasant Lane, Southampton Village: $675,000
7 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, two half bathrooms; 11,000 square feet

This is a brand-new home on over two acres just a short distance from ocean beaches and the village, The home has a gated driveway lined with East End-signature hedges, and lush landscaping surrounds the estate and bluestone patios. The home boasts an open layout with a great room and a professional-style kitchen with butler’s pantry and top-of-the-line Miele appliances that are well-suited for entertaining. There’s also a heated swimming pool with a vanishing edge, tennis court, sauna, theater, gym and three-car garage.

124 Dune Road, Quogue: $600,000
9 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, 2 half bathrooms; 10,700 square feet

This gated estate, situated on nearly three acres of landscaped oceanfront property, was completely renovated in 2015. It’s a “smart home” with connected features, and it has dramatic details like an entry foyer with a marble staircase that leads to ocean views on the upper floor. The second-floor living spaces include a living room with fireplace, custom gourmet kitchen with breakfast nook, dining room and a master suite with office and master den, all with water views. The main floor has a den with a wet bar and fireplace, media/billiard room and three guest suites. Outside is a tennis court, three-car garage, elevated gunite pool/hot tub, cabana and outside kitchen. Like the home and never want to leave? It is also for sale for $18 million.

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