Tough East End market for summer renters: high prices, fewer homes

The strong sales market for housing on the The strong sales market for housing on the East End is making it tougher, and more expensive, for summer renters. Observers say that homes that have been available on a weekly basis in the past few years are now being sold. This view is in North Haven on March 18, 2014. Photo Credit: Gordon M. Grant

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The strong housing market in the East End is making it tougher, and more expensive, for summer renters.

Some landlords are raising rents for the first time since the recession -- typically by 7-15 percent, said James Young, managing broker at Rosehip Partners in East Hampton, which runs Hamptonsrentals.com.

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Typical weekly rents range from $2,500 for "a little place in the woods" to $50,000 or more for an oceanfront mansion, Young said.

With the home sales market bustling, some homeowners who reluctantly accommodated renters in recent years are now able to sell their homes. That means fewer homes on the seasonal lease market.

A few would-be renters have thrown in the towel and bought vacation homes of their own, said Susan Breitenbach, an associate broker with Corcoran in Bridgehampton: "They've bought 'spec' houses for $9 million because they can't rent anything."

This year, more vacationers are plunking down from $100,000 to $300,00 -- or more -- to rent properties for a full season, said Cia Comnas, an executive managing director with Brown Harris Stevens in Bridgehampton.

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"When the market was not great we had more people coming out who were taking shorter times," she said. "This year we're experiencing more full-season tenants. It seems like the rental market is a bit stronger."

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