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COVID-19: NYC Exodus Fuels Massive Hamptons Real Estate Boom

Homes in the Hamptons have become a go-to destination for New Yorkers. Photo Credit: Corcoran Group
A breakdown of where homes are being sold on Long Island. Photo Credit: BHS

Manhattan’s loss during the COVID-19 pandemic may have been the Hamptons’ gain, as New Yorkers flooded east to avoid the density of the city and have been looking to make the area their home.

Since the pandemic first made its way to the East Coast, there has been a mass exodus of New Yorkers who made their way to second or rental homes on Long Island, with many not coming back, even as the state’s infection rate has stabilized.

According to a new report from Brown Harris Stevens, the market remains robust, in just a few months, between July and September, nearly a billion dollars worth of property along the East End of Long Island was sold.

During that third quarter alone, there were 448 single-family home sales, up 51 percent from this time last year. In total, sales hit $973 million during that time, up from $483 million a year ago.

The report found that sales prices in the Hamptons averaged $2.17 million during the third quarter, which is up 33.2 percent from the same time last year. The median price jumped 26.2 percent to $1.26 million.

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

The report found that at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, renting homes was the go-to play, but as virus-related restrictions were lifted, such as giving house tours, buyers near and far have begun lining up to purchase homes.

“The pace was frenetic once we moved into late spring, early summer, but I wasn’t expecting to see the volume double. It’s striking,” a Brown Harris Stevens managing director told the New York Post. . “Once the COVID regulations started to ease off and people could get into homes and have showings one at a time, with masks and gloves, it just took off. There was so much pent-up demand.”

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