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Will The Hamptons Real Estate Market Shut Down For The Winter?

John A. Viteritti

Listed for $4.995M by Lois and Peter Moore of The Corcoran Group, this 10-bedroom in East Hampton is everything the season renter, or second homeowner wants, in a vacation home South of the Highway. (Courtesy Photo)

In the not too distant past, the bucolic Peconic Bay Region of Eastern Long Island virtually shut down for the winter. Stores on Main Street, except those necessary to sustain life for local inhabitants like the grocery and drug stores, closed their doors. The Hamptons summer residents went elsewhere. In recent years, we have seen that change. While still primarily a "second home" region, people are staying longer and coming out more frequently enjoying the fall and spring bumper seasons as never before.

Is real estate in the Hamptons a seasonal business? Not if you ask real estate professionals doing business in the Peconic Bay Region.

Andrew Stype Realty, Inc., established by Val W. Stype and now headed up by Andrew Stype, real estate broker and appraiser, is celebrating its 50th Anniversary of doing business in Mattituck on the region's North Fork. His wife Barbara, and daughter Erica, are also in the business with him.

I presented this question to Andy, as well as two South Fork brokers. Is real estate in the Hamptons a seasonal business? "Real estate is a year-round business," Stype says. "The old thought of listing during the spring season now means losing out on buyers ready to go now! Many buyers who missed out during the year are more than ready to buy now and sellers frustrated at not selling their homes are usually offering competitive prices."

Lawrence Ingolia, Associate Broker with Sotheby's in Southampton, agrees, "The real estate market on the East End never sleeps. Each season brings its own opportunities, especially the fall months which are particularly busy. Lots of buyers take advantage of the beautiful weather to find their dream house. The market tends to hibernate in December and January, which is when we refine our sale and rental listings, update ad copy, and take new photos."

"We are anticipating brisk rental and sales demand this winter and into the spring of 2015," say Lois and Peter Moore, husband and wife team with The Corcoran Group in East Hampton. "With anxiety levels high due to the turmoil in the Middle East coupled with serious health threats around the world, we are experiencing a kind of bunker mentality, similar to what we witnessed after 9/11. We have heard from both renters and buyers that they are accelerating their searches as a result of a conscious decision to keep close to home."

Stype added, "Two problems are people leaving for winter climates and weather conditions such as abundant snow storms. But whenever a very competitive home comes on the market, savvy buyers know when bargains are available and are able to act quickly."

"Come February we pick up with renters coming out for the first dibs on the best houses within their price point," says Ingolia. "We also have buyers who want to purchase, do some renovation work, and be in for the summer."

The Moore's sum it up nicely, "Lois and I have virtually sold all our listings. We are issuing an 'all points-bulletin' for good listings. We are preparing an ad with a blank photo spot with the words, 'Your house here.' Know anybody thinking of selling their home?"

John is a St. John's University graduate, licensed Real Estate broker, DOS Certified Instructor, lecturer, teaches real estate license classes at Cook Maran Real Estate School, and is a well-respected consultant to the real estate industry. He previously taught at LIU and NYU. www.johnaviteritti.com

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