The Hamptons summer season has come and gone, yet the bustle continues for the East End of Long Island. What is usually a strongly seasonal location is now a year-round hotspot due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Urbanites began flocking to the safety of the suburbs mid-March after the pandemic posed a true threat to the world. The Hamptons is known for expansive beaches and large properties – a true recipe for real estate success in today’s world.
Netflix show Million Dollar Beach House ranked in the top ten worldwide trending shows after it featured some of the most sought after homes in the neighborhood. J.B. Andreassi and Noel Roberts were two of the Nest Seekers International agents featured on the show. As the fall season is well underway, the real estate market continues to be on fire while families decide to stay out East more permanently. Summer homes might become full-time homes after all.
I spoke with Andreassi and Roberts to learn more about their thoughts on the current real estate market and life after Million Dollar Beach House.
As individuals and families plan to stay out East more permanently, what are some of the benefits you predict for the wider community?
JBA: Any time there is a broader and more permanent population increase in a particular community (especially one that has as much acclaim or cache as the Hamptons), it is important that the development of infrastructure keep pace. With more and more families and individuals becoming “year-round” residents, I believe you will start to see more money allocated to the schools, transportation systems, restaurants, shopping and local establishments. More people means more money into the local economy, which is always a good thing. Perhaps we will also see more cell phone towers added as well, which we all know is so badly needed out East!
NR: As someone who usually thinks the summer is too packed and the off-season is too desolate, I find the current post Labor Day population to be a perfect balance. I think it will ultimately be good for business and the overall social lives of the residents.
Inventory on the East End must be getting pretty slim as families decide to buy or rent this upcoming fall and winter seasons. Do you think custom built homes will be on the rise in the coming months for that reason?
JBA: Inventory has become an issue out here. At this point, the demand for single family homes has far exceeded the supply that is available. I believe you will start to see more homes come on the market this fall, and the selling season may be extended into late fall and early winter, where it has historically quieted down tremendously out here after October. There has been an uptick in individuals looking to build custom, since the available spec home supply is so depleted, and more individuals are becoming comfortable with the idea of renting, while the home of their dreams is being built and completed.
NR: More inventory became available after Labor Day, which is typical. Even though this is the most people I’ve ever seen stick around after Labor Day, it’s manageable and we’re not seeing anywhere near the traffic we had over the summer. Custom home building remains steady not so much because there aren’t homes to choose from, rather because certain buyers have a particular taste that if they can’t find what they need on the market will opt to build it themselves. I have a go-to design/build team that I’ve referred buyers to, and I’m excited to see these homes break ground in the coming months to be ready for next summer.
Have you seen regular Hamptons summer renters turn into home buyers this year? If so, what has been their reasoning for the big life change?
JBA: Yes. I had two rental clients who rushed out here during the early onset of COVID in Manhattan turning into home buyers shortly thereafter. Many other brokers have stories like that as well. I think renters realized that with the unknowns of tomorrow, it is tremendously important to own something in a more rural setting, so they can provide safety, stability and peace of mind for themselves and their families. I think a lot of high net and very sophisticated people were caught off guard by the pandemic and scrambled to rent something outside of the city. These people are very smart and calculated typically, so they don’t want to be a part of that mad rush again if God forbid things don’t improve or something like this happens in the future. Also, the work from home movement (that was already prevalent before the pandemic) has made living out in the Hamptons more permanently a very serious consideration for a lot of folks who fancy the Hamptons.
NR: Yes. I’ve seen both regular and first time Hamptons renters convert to buyers. Much of which has to do with a sense of security. The pandemic caused a lot of people to realize that they need to have options in terms of where they live, and an “option” outside of the congested city became paramount. Then after a while people began to re-evaluate their work in relation to where they live. Technology has allowed parents to work, and children to learn from home.
Are you seeing an influx of first time renters or buyers in the community this fall?
JBA: I’ve seen both. I call these individuals “the second wave.” They hunkered down and rode out the storm from March until now and waited for the craziness of the market to quiet a bit. Now they are ready to enter in and lock down properties that were not available at the time of the 2020 selling season.
NR: There was a tremendous influx of first time renters who came to the Hamptons over the summer, and it’s carried into the fall months. Some were already here and simply extended their rental past Labor Day, while others found refuge elsewhere over the summer and are just now landing in the Hamptons.
How do you predict the commercial community will respond and grow with this influx of year-round residents?
JBA: Restaurants, local shopping and bars typically do very well between the months of May and September, and traffic and sales revenue slows down tremendously after that. I’ve spoken with a few of my favorite restaurant owners and local clothing stores that say they have plans to stay open well into the fall to accommodate the demand. Also with Manhattan in a worse place than out here, luxury brands like Jimmy Choo and Alice and Olivia will lean on the shops in the Hamptons to carry the weight for the larger company for the time being. This is unchartered territory for a lot of local business owners, so it will be interesting to see how they handle it.
NR: As many businesses and restaurants as possible will try to remain open and continue to recoup lost revenues from earlier in the season. This is good because they’ll continue to employ a vital workforce, and residents/consumers will continue to have options.
What are some of your must-do Hamptons activities in the fall and winter?
JBA: Touring local farm stands like Halsey or Corwith or picking pumpkins at Hank’s. Love the wineries like Channing Daughters in Bridgehampton, or if you’re in the mood for a little drive, Croteaux on the North Fork is awesome as well. Golfing out here, even if it’s just hitting balls at the Southampton Driving Range, or heading down to Georgica Beach at sunset, walking around Sag Harbor and seeing some of the biggest yachts in the world are some of my favorite things to do.
NR: The East End is full of amazing farmland and wineries, so while you’re out here, it’s fun to make a day out of it and explore. You can enjoy picking pumpkins, apples, hay rides, and corn mazes. The Hamptons Film Festival is always high on my list.
What was the biggest thing you learned from being on Million Dollar Beach House and how has it changed your perspective on business this year?
JBA: The biggest thing that I learned is to be true to who I am and be true to my values. I am a broker in a very competitive and sometimes amoral environment. Kindness and teamwork always win in my book. My success in my second year as a Real Estate Agent in the Hamptons has proved to me that you can be successful if you work harder than the people around you, make and grow relationships, and treat your competitors and your colleagues, the way you would want to be treated.
NR: The real estate business and the TV business are two entirely different beasts. When combined and done correctly, something magical can occur. Since the premiere of season one of Million Dollar Beach House, I’m widely recognized on the street and homeowners who took a liking to me have reached out to work together. My perspective hasn’t changed, but it has opened doors much easier than they would have opened in the past. You can’t beat international exposure, and Netflix is in a class all to itself.