Ordinarily, a home with a $2.5 million price tag wouldn’t raise many eyebrows in the posh Hamptons; in fact, there are 56 homes listed at that price on HREO.com, an East End real estate website where sale prices routinely soar into the double-digit millions. But what might get your attention right now is the one that is merely renting for that record price: an 18,000-square-foot home on an eight-acre oceanfront and bay-front estate in Southampton Village, available from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
And an oceanfront home in Southampton is listed with Town & Country Real Estate for $1.5 million for the season. That’s a first for the firm, says its chief executive Judi Desiderio. “Before that, the high-water mark was at a million,” she says.
Though not quite commonplace, the once-sensational million-dollar rental is no longer unusual enough to cause a stir. A search of this year’s offerings on HREO.com showed eight full-season rentals priced at $1 million or more this summer — and eight that were priced at $1 million or more for a single month.
And there just may be a market for that this season — namely, would-be buyers at the extreme high end who held off making a purchase this winter, but still want (and can afford) a million-dollar summer at the beach. “The $20 million-and-up sales market is soft, and there’s too much inventory right now. So that’s where the market got hit,” says Desiderio. Town & Country reported a 64 percent slide in fourth-quarter sales in that price range, from 11 sales in 2014 to just four in 2015.
Overall, the firm’s latest market report shows a 21 percent decline in fourth-quarter sales compared to 2014. Desiderio estimates that rentals at her firm are up about 20 percent compared to this time last year. That doesn’t surprise her — lower sales often coincide with a busier rental season, she says.
While many of last summer’s renters already booked again for this year, Desiderio says there is enough inventory to meet demand.
Manhattan-based analyst Jonathan Miller says fourth-quarter sales volume in 2015 was down from near record levels in 2014, “so it is reasonable to expect an uptick in rental activity this year.” Miller is the chief executive of appraisal firm Miller Samuel, which reported that fourth-quarter sales in the Hamptons fell 16.5 percent compared to the prior year. “Sales volume in the Hamptons is down from near record levels last year, so it is reasonable to expect an uptick in rental activity this year,” he says. Miller is the chief executive of appraisal firm Miller Samuel, which reported that fourth-quarter sales in the Hamptons fell 16.5 percent compared to the prior year.
The Corcoran Group’s market report was the exception, showing a modest 2 percent increase in the firm’s fourth-quarter sales compared to the prior year.
Despite the uptick in seven-digit rentals, prices overall are similar to last season, with the most activity in the $50,000 to $75,000 range, Desiderio says.
As President’s weekend kicks off the annual search for Hamptons rentals, here is a sampling of what’s available for the summer of 2016:
$2.5 million for Memorial Day-Labor Day
What could possibly justify such a steep price for a single season? The answer is six acres on the ocean, plus two acres on Shinnecock Bay; direct, private access to 500 feet of beachfront; and, of course, the requisite tennis court and heated pool, all in the ritzy estate section of Southampton Village. Oh, and the house isn’t too shabby either: The 18,000-square-foot manse features nine bedrooms, 12½ bathrooms, separate guest and servant wings, a game room and a gym. The home is listed with Tim Davis of The Corcoran Group (631-702-9211).
$225,000 for Memorial Day-Labor Day
Drink in the water views of the Montauk Harbor, Block Island Sound and Montauk Lake from this 6,700-square-foot Postmodern. The cedar shingled five-bedroom home has five bathrooms and two half-bathrooms. The master suite has a private deck, a fireplace, a custom steam shower and a whirlpool bath. The 1.9-acre property features a heated gunite pool. The home, which is also for sale for $5.563 million, is listed with Chris Coleman of Saunders & Associates (516-445-1513).
$750,000 for Memorial Day-Labor Day
If you’re in the market for a modern mansion, check out this 8,250-square-foot home, which features high-tech goodies such as a media room, a home gym and high-end kitchen. There are eight bedrooms and 10½ bathrooms, including the one in the master suite, on the main level. The 4.2-acre property, situated south of Montauk Highway, has a sunken tennis court, a heated gunite pool and a pool house. The home is listed with Carol Nobbs of Douglas Elliman Real Estate (516-729-0897).
$45,000 for Memorial Day-Labor Day
Play all day at this bright Contemporary, which features a game room with table tennis and billiards inside and a heated pool outside. The 2,400-square-foot home has four bedrooms, each with its own TV, and 3½ bathrooms. The home, which is on a one-acre lot, is listed with Amy Nash of Douglas Elliman Real Estate (631-329-9400).
$80,000 for the second two weeks in July, or $150,000 for August through Labor Day
Finally, a place that can accommodate your yacht, helicopter and sea plane — this 3.25-acre estate features a deepwater dock that holds all three. It also has an infinity pool, a recreation pavilion, a tennis court and 300 feet of beach frontage. Highlights of the 16,000-square-foot mansion include panoramic water views, a media room, a fitness room, a professional-grade kitchen, a garden room and seven fireplaces. The main house has six bedrooms and 6 ½ bathrooms. The compound also includes a three-bedroom guesthouse and a pool house with its own kitchen, bath and balcony. The home is listed with Judi Desiderio of Town & Country Real Estate (631-324-8080).
$225,000 for Memorial Day-Labor Day
This 2.6-acre estate features 250 feet of shoreline along Noyack Bay, a heated gunite pool with a spa and a pool house. The property is part of a gated Sag Harbor community with shared tennis courts and dock space — an exclusive area where, listing agent Gary DePersia says, home prices can reach $50 million. The 6,100-square-foot Postmodern has six bedrooms and 5½ bathrooms. The master suite has a fireplace and a private balcony with water views. The home is listed with Gary DePersia of The Corcoran Group (516-380-0538).
$95,000 for Memorial Day-Labor Day; $35,000 for July, $40,000 for August or $65,000 for July and August
A wraparound rooftop terrace and multiple decks make the most of the water views from this modern-style newly constructed home on Sag Harbor Cove. The home features three bedrooms and 3½ bathrooms. The master suite has a fireplace, walk-in closets and its own deck. A second-floor entertainment area overlooks the water. The .67-acre property features a heated gunite spa and outdoor kitchen, and includes a seasonal deep water dock permit. The home is listed with Christopher Burnside (631-537-4320) and Mark Baron (631-537-4333) of Brown Harris Stevens.
If you want to rent by the week
For those who don’t use “summer” as a verb, there are short-term rentals — but note that both Southampton and East Hampton towns require a two-week minimum stay, real estate agents say. How much you can expect to pay depends on both location and amenities, says Brian Blekicki of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, where rentals are among his specialties.
He says a small home without a pool that is not close to a downtown might rent for a minimum of $5,000 for two weeks; whereas, a home with a pool in a village where you can walk to everything might rent for a minimum of $15,000 for two weeks. Those who do not want to work with an agent can find other rentals through online marketplaces such as HomeAway, VRBO and AirBNB. .
— VALERIE KELLOGG