Hamptons Sees Billion-Dollar Real Estate Boom as Wealthy New Yorkers Flee the City

In 2020, Hamptons season never ends

luxury home hamptons
People are waiting out the pandemic in the Hamptons, maybe forever.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Hamptons season started early this year as wealthy New Yorkers fled the city to the safety of their summer homes when the pandemic first took hold last spring, and it never really ended. Now, with the city bracing for another COVID-19 spike, many Hamptons-dwellers are extending their stay indefinitely, sparking a massive real-estate boom in the area.

According to a new market report by Brown Harris Stevens, almost $1 billion worth of Hamptons property sold in just three months between July and September, the New York Post reported. The third quarter of 2020 saw 448 single-family home sales, up 51 percent from this time last year.

“The March mentality was to flee the city but now people want to stay,” said Brown Harris Stevens broker Jennifer Friedberg. “It’s a lifestyle choice. The pace is slower, there’s more space and it’s safe.”

According to some brokers, it’s not just the summer Hamptons crew extending their stay. Many new buyers had never ventured out east prior to the pandemic, said Dolly Lenz, of Dolly Lenz Real Estate. “They wanted to rent first. Now they are looking to buy. They never thought they’d need a place to run, but they are fleeing for safety,” she said. “They realize that even though they didn’t know the place, they know the people. Their friends are all here and they can do business here. It’s an extension of their life in New York.”

Hamptons sales hit $973 million for the third quarter of this year compared to $483 million during the third quarter of 2019, according to the Brown Harris Stevens report. That increase represents a 101.5 percent surge over last year.

Prices are also up as well, with sales averaging $2.17 million during the third quarter, up 33.2 percent from the same time last year.

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