65 First Neck Lane in Southampton (inset: Andrew Saunders)
Economic growth and low interest rates propelled the Hamptons to a record year in 2014, and similarly favorable market conditions seem to be shaping up for 2015, according to a new report by Hamptons brokerage Saunders & Associates.
The five towns that comprise the East End saw overall sales volume up 2.1 percent in 2014, according to the report. In Southampton, prices rose 8.3 percent and in Easthampton, they jumped 10.6 percent.
Sales volume in the five towns that comprise the East End was up 2.1 percent in 2014, and prices rose 8.3 percent in Southampton and 10.6 percent in Easthampton. “2014 was really the busiest year that I’ve observed in my career,” said Andrew Saunders, president of Saunders & Associates. “There was tremendous conviction from buyers and real enthusiasm for executing transactions in most spectrums of the market.”
The growth in the finance and entertainment industries — fields that many Hamptons buyers work in — combined with continually low interest rates should lead to robust activity this year, Saunders said.
Empty-nester baby boomers are looking to downsize, which is driving up prices in the village, according to the report, which says that homes near Southampton and Bridgehampton that would have traded for about $2 million several years ago are now selling for twice that amount.
Another development is the increased willingness of high-end buyers to look north of Route 27, which has traditionally been considered a second choice to the south side of the highway near the beach, Saunders said. Buyers are drawn there by new construction, including that of smaller condo units. As a result, prices north of the highway are increasing.
“Location is being trumped by new,” he said. “New is really the most sought after characteristic of a lot of buyers today.”