Bargain-hunting billionaires rejoice: For a mere $2.25 million, you can secure the highest-priced Hamptons home for rent — yes, rent — listed on Hamptons Real Estate Online (hreo.com). That asking price, which is for the full season from Memorial Day to Labor Day, is a relative steal compared with last summer’s record of $2.5 million for the same house.
The lavish 18,000-square-foot manse is perched regally on an 8-acre property in Southampton, on the waterfronts of both the Atlantic Ocean and Shinnecock Bay.
But rest assured, even in years when rents don’t break outlandish records, the East End’s sunny shores retain their allure for the rich and famous. Take, for example, longtime Hamptons renter — oh, and two-time Super Bowl MVP — Eli Manning. Public records show the New York Giants quarterback recently bought a 7,000-square-foot oceanfront place in Quogue for $8.5 million.
As for what else is happening in the Hamptons market — well, that’s a bit of a mystery this year. Ordinarily, experts like to say they can predict how hot the summer rental scene will be just by looking at recent home sales; when sales go up, rentals go down, and vice versa, the maxim goes. But an eerily quiet fourth quarter has clouded some brokers’ crystal balls.
“I think the last quarter of 2016 was one of the most unique quarters I’ve ever reported on,” says Judi Desiderio, chief executive of Town & Country Real Estate. “I feel as though everyone became obsessed with the election. . . . It was as though they were holding their breath.”
Indeed, fourth-quarter sales fell in 11 of the 12 markets her firm tracks on the South Fork and in Shelter Island, compared with the same period a year ago. But an uncharacteristic burst of January sales quickly followed, suggesting that it was more of a pause than a slump, Desiderio says.
Real estate analyst Jonathan Miller concurs: “It looks like the weak fourth quarter was a market timing issue triggered by pent-up demand before the U.S. election, and we are seeing a release in the first quarter.”
Still, the delay means there’s less data for making predictions in time for Presidents Day weekend, the customary start of the summer rental search.
So for now, experts can only speculate. “As the economy improves, I suspect the East End rental market will take a back seat to the sales market,” says Miller, chief executive of real estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel. “It is anecdotal at this point, but we saw this pattern across all the high-end U.S. housing markets we analyze.” Those markets include South Florida, Los Angeles and the New York metropolitan area.
Overall, a recent search of hreo.com shows full-season rentals ranging from $9,500 for a two-bedroom apartment in East Quogue to $2.25 million for the aforementioned Southampton estate. Short-term leases start at $3,500 per week for a 600-square-foot cottage in Sagaponack; brokers note that both Southampton and East Hampton towns require a two-week minimum for rentals.
Here’s a sampling of what’s for rent in the Hamptons this summer.
Southampton, $695,000 (Memorial Day-Labor Day)
The amenity list is long and luxurious at this newly constructed, fully furnished, 11,000-square-foot estate. The 2.1-acre property offers a vanishing edge pool, spa, cabana, outdoor kitchen, outdoor shower and tennis court.
The home features seven bedrooms and 9½ bathrooms, a sauna, gym, theater, wine room, elevator and a wireless Sonos home sound system in every room.
In addition to being available for the summer, the home is also available year-round for $895,000. It’s listed with Carl Nigro (631-404-8633) and Laura Nigro (516-885-4509) of Douglas Elliman Real Estate.
Montauk, $250,000 (Memorial Day-Labor Day)
A two-story gazebo makes the most of the water views from this 1.66-acre hilltop property that touches both Block Island Sound and Fort Pond Bay and overlooks 96 acres of nature preserve.
The six-bedroom, 7½-bathroom home features four fireplaces, a gym, a pool and hot tub and a covered patio.
It’s also available for the month of July for $125,000. The home is listed with David Ryan of Town & Country Real Estate (631-668-0500).
East Quogue, $16,000 (Memorial Day-Labor Day)
This three-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,400-square-foot beach house is within walking distance to town, the park and bay.
It features a heated pool, a deck and a covered porch.
Other available lease terms include June for $4,000, July for $8,000 and August-Labor Day for $8,000. The home is listed with John Tocco of Fourth Neck Realty (631-653-3373).
Southampton Village, $2.25 million (Memorial Day-Labor Day)
This 8-acre double-waterfront property — the highest-priced full-season rental in the Hamptons, according to hreo.com — includes both a 500-foot stretch of beachfront on the Atlantic Ocean and a dock on Shinnecock Bay.
The 18,000-square-foot home, which has nine bedrooms, 12 full bathrooms and one half-bathroom, features a game room, a gym, guest and staff quarters.
The grounds also feature a heated pool and a tennis court. Other available lease terms include July for $1 million, or August through Labor Day for $1.5 million. The home is listed with Cody Vichinsky and Zachary Vichinsky of Bespoke Real Estate (631-500-9030).
Water Mill, $695,000 (Memorial Day-Labor Day)
This 12,010-square-foot mansion offers views of both the Atlantic Ocean and Mecox Bay from a 1,200-square-foot third-floor terrace. The master suite, which fills an entire wing of the house, has separate his-and-hers closets, dressing and bathing areas, and a sitting room with water views. The landscaped 3.08-acre property, in a coveted location south of the highway, features a radiant-heated saltwater pool, spa and pool house with its own bathroom, dressing room, lounge area and outdoor fireplace. Other available lease terms include July for $350,000, July and August-Labor Day for $650,000 and June-July for $400,000. The home is listed with Martha P. Gundersen of Brown Harris Stevens (631-405-8436).
Bridgehampton, $250,000 (Memorial Day-Labor Day)
This home’s coveted south-of-the-highway (that’s Montauk Highway) location means it’s convenient to ocean beaches, shops and restaurants.
This house in Bridgehampton is available for rent for $250,000 from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Amagansett, $225,000 (Memorial Day-Labor Day)
You don’t even have to get out of bed to enjoy the water views from this six-bedroom, 2½-bathroom oceanfront contemporary.
But if you do get out of bed, be sure to have breakfast on the sprawling deck, which also overlooks the Atlantic and features a built-in stainless steel barbecue grill.
The home features central air-conditioning and an updated kitchen. It’s listed with David Zazula of Halstead Property (917-690-3107).