Hamptons Home Prices Soar 92% in 2021; Renters Seek Other Summer Spots

The operative word is ‘optimism,’ ” said James Whelan, president of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY). “There is a real sense that things are heading in the right direction.” Photo Credit: Facebook

By: Hellen Zaboulani

The Hamptons is at the top of New Yorkers’ destination list, but the crazy prices and sold-out signs are leaving many potential renters priced out.

Home sales in the Hamptons for properties priced between $1 million and $5 million jumped an astonishing 92 percent in the first quarter of 2021, as per Douglas Elliman.  Inventory shortages were inevitable.   As reported by the NY Post, resourceful New Yorkers have found other worthy vacation spots, waking some sleeping markets across the Catskills and Long Island.

“We thought about the Hamptons, the North Fork and the Hudson Valley,” said Megha Chopra, 33, who lives in Williamsburg with her husband.  “After COVID, we were desperate for a place to escape,” she said.  “The prices in the Hamptons are crazy expensive, and there wasn’t a lot to choose from,” said Chopra. The first-time summer home renters found their alternative in Bellport, New York.  The Long Island village is an hour and a half drive from Manhattan, and offers a beach, boating, fishing and a charming downtown at a much more affordable price and more laid back setting than the Hamptons.  They rented a three-bedroom house in Bellport with a pool for $15,000 a month.  “We wouldn’t have gotten anything in the Hamptons for that price,” said Chopra.

Another up and coming destination is the hamlet of Narrowsburg, New York, in the Catskills.   “The nature is a huge draw,” said Jennifer Grimes, the owner of Red Cottage, an upscale rentals brokerage in the Catskills. “You can go to the river with your friends, sit in an inner tube and sip a locally brewed craft beer while eagles are soaring overhead. That’s pretty hard to beat.”  The tiny town is a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Manhattan.

“All of a sudden, people are discovering the town and wanting to be here. Tuesday rentals are almost as hot as Saturdays,” she said, noting that her business has increased some 250 percent over last year.  As per the Post, prices are up here too.  Now weekly rentals for a modern two-bedroom home go for about $1,900 a week, Grimes said, while at the high end, a 3,000-square-foot house with a pool and maybe a tennis court asks $7,000.

Another alternative is the town of New Paltz in Ulster County, NY.  About a 90-minute drive from Manhattan, the town offers world-class rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking and a vibrant main street.  “Last summer, there was an influx of renters who weren’t there before,” said Keith Woodburn, owner of the New Paltz-based Church Street Realty Services.