Spring is in the air and the crowds are growing in the Hamptons. So much has happened since I last posted here. So, what took me so long? I’ve been working, talking vaccines and binge-watching UFO documentaries on Netflix.
Anyway, the big news in Sag Harbor is Bagel Buoy on Bay Street has finally sunk (toldja). A year or so after they closed and reopened and closed again the space is vacant. But that’s not the big news. I’m burying the lead again! What’s going into its place (according to sources) is Carissa’s bakery and café. I was late to the Carissa’s fan club but once I tried their pickle sourdough rye (seen to the right) and their Plum and Apple Tartin, I was hooked. For those unfamiliar, check out their menu from the two locations in East Hampton click here.
Meanwhile, just in time for Spring comes some more good news. Word on the street is that the East Hampton Regal Cinema will be reopening on May 21st. It’s been a nearly a year since the venue was shut after the Covid-19 outbreak. Now after watching everything Netflix, Hulu and HBO Max have to offer we’ll have a chance once again to sit in stiff seats, pay for overpriced pretzels and have our feet stick to the floor. I know I missed it too!
So East Hampton Village beach passes went on sale just a few days ago. So, how is it going? Um, it’s sick. My best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Ferris at 31 Flavors last night and he said they sold a crazy number of passes already. So, I guess it’s pretty serious. According to the friend of Ferris, 2500 beach passes were gone after only two days of sales. In a normal year, that number would be closer to 200. So if you’re looking forward to sunning in the sands of any of the village beaches, you better run to Village Town Hall (86 Main St., East Hampton) with your license, registration or check and get your permit. You can also try going on line by clicking here:
Meanwhile, the real estate market is expected to do very well in 2021, with mortgage rates that are hovering at historic lows and forecasted by experts to remain favorable throughout the year. One challenge to the housing industry especially here in the Hamptons, is the lack of homes available for sale today. Last week, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Existing Home Sales Report, which shows that the inventory of homes for sale is currently at an all-time low. The report explains:
“Total housing inventory at the end of December totaled 1.07 million units, down 16.4% from November and down 23% from one year ago (1.39 million). Unsold inventory sits at an all-time low 1.9-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 2.3 months in November and down from the 3.0-month figure recorded in December 2019. NAR first began tracking the single-family home supply in 1982.”
What Does This Mean for You?
If You’re a Buyer:
Be patient during your home search. It may take time to find a home you love. Once you do, however, be ready to move forward quickly. Get pre-approved for a mortgage, be prepared to make a competitive offer from the start, and know that a shortage in inventory could mean you’ll enter a bidding war. Calculate just how far you’re willing to go to secure a home and lean on your real estate professional as an expert guide along the way. The good news is, more inventory is likely headed to the market soon, Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, notes:
“To their credit, homebuilders and construction companies have increased efforts to build, with housing starts hitting an annual rate of near 1.7 million in December, with more focus on single-family homes…However, it will take vigorous new home construction in 2021 and in 2022 to adequately furnish the market to properly meet the demand.”
If You’re a Seller:
Realize that, in some ways, you’re in the driver’s seat. When there’s a shortage of an item at the same time there’s a strong demand for it, the seller is in a good position to negotiate the best possible terms. Whether it’s the price, moving date, possible repairs, or anything else, you’ll be able to request more from a potential purchaser at a time like this – especially if you have multiple interested buyers. Don’t be unreasonable, but understand you probably have the upper hand.
Like a fine wine or a new Nicholas Sparks novel, all good things take time. It’s been months since I’ve taken pen to paper to put down my thoughts in the gem that is known as Hamptons Chatter. Well, there is no time like now to get started and leave 2020 behind and look toward 2021! Will the Hamptons steroid infused market continue? What about the rental season? While I wouldn’t dare to say I have any sort of crystal ball I am comfortable in telling you what some top economists and real estate experts are predicting. Reminder these are about “National Trends.” The Hamptons is traditionally a unique market. But, right now due to Covid-19 epidemic a large number of NYC residents have now claimed the East End as their primary residence. That has now pushed us IMHO to a more traditional “primary home” market. As for rentals the inventory is limited, demand is high. So, look for another banner year for Hamptons rentals demanding higher than normal prices.
Four Expert Views on the 2021 Housing Market
The housing market was a shining star in 2020, fueling the economic turnaround throughout the country. As we look forward to 2021, can we expect real estate to continue showing such promise? Here’s what four experts have to say about the year ahead.
“With home builder confidence near record highs, we expect continued gains for single-family construction, albeit at a lower growth rate than in 2019. Some slowing of new home sales growth will occur due to the fact that a growing share of sales has come from homes that have not started construction. Nonetheless, buyer traffic will remain strong given favorable demographics, a shifting geography of housing demand to lower-density markets and historically low interest rates.”
“Mortgage rates are expected to remain low for the foreseeable future and millennials will continue forming households, keeping demand robust, even if income growth moderates. Despite the best intentions of home builders to provide more housing supply, the big short in housing supply will continue into 2021 and likely keep house price appreciation flying high.”
Bottom Line: Whether you’re ready to buy, sell or rent a home in 2021, if you’re planning to take advantage of the market this winter, let’s connect to talk about the opportunities available in our local market.
Some good news if you’re a city dweller missing your fix of salumi , mozzarella or panna cotta from NYC. In particular, if you miss the goodies at Eataly. The italian emporium is now doing weekly runs to here in the Hamptons. Just go online to www.eatalyathome.com by Tuesday 12 noon and create a shipment or pick one of their curated boxes and place your order. Then on Friday afternoon go to the designated drop off point in your area and pick up your belissima bundle.
So, I just have to add a few more restaurants to this list. I’m seriously sick of sitting home but these folks are making it a little easier.
Cove Hollow Tavern – East Hampton Available Thursday to Monday 5:00-8:00 pm. Make sure you try one of the Rice Bowls (chicken, tofu or firecracker shrimp) or their famous Linguini with Mushroom Bolognese. Along with Fresno, they also have some of THE BEST French Fries. Click here for more details or call 631-527-7131 x 4.
Nick & Toni’s – East Hampton Available Wednesday to Sunday 5:00-9:00pm. While the Zucchini Chips are not on the menu, the Caesar Salad, Roasted Chicken with Pancetta and Yukon Roasted Potatoes and the Roasted Market Catch are ready to go. Click here for details or call 631-324-3550.
Highway Restaurant and Bar – Wainscott Available Thursday to Monday 5-8pm. They’re cooking the CHICKEN POT PIE to go! They’re also serving what they call LARGE FORMAT TAKE AWAY. There’s more on the menu but if you don’t get the CHICKEN POT PIE (I always get it when available with a Caesar Salad)… Your loss. Click here for details or call 631-527-5372
Coche Comedor – Amagansett Available Wednesday to Sunday 4:00 pm-8:00 pm. With a hybrid menu from Coche and La Fondita you can host a fiesta right in your living room. Tacos, Chips and Guacamole and Pork Rib Carnitas are all available plus salads and sides. Click here for more or call 631-267-5709.
Finally for the more ambitious…
Bobby Vans – Bridgehampton Available daily for dinner 3:00-8:00 pm. Something called Chef Johnny’s Butcher Shop will allow you to get your dinner with all the sides from Creamed Spinach to Soup Du Jour along with an uncooked , preseasoned Filet Mignon, Beef Burger, Lamb Chop or Chicken Breast. Click here or call 631-537-0590.