HOW DO YOU PREDICT HOUSING SALES FOR 2011???... I See A Major Trend In Custom "New Builds"
According to the latest news, modest increases in new home sales gives one the hope that this is the new beginning that we have been waiting for! National news is sounding very grim for the housing market going forward, but I am getting the calls that I have been waiting for from builders. Now, there are not enough "tear-downs" to satisfy the needs! The builders who took the chance in '09 have houses sold or in contract right now.
One new construction on a relatively modest street has just sold here in Southampton Village and that has started a run on the smaller houses on that street! I will have a new listing after I sell the smaller house at the end of the street---another "New Build" that is expected to sell for just under $5Mil.
THIS CUSTOM HOME JUST SOLD FOR TOP DOLLAR IN SOUTHAMPTON VILLAGE, NY
According to the data that I have been able to glean from our records, the only houses that are selling fairly close to the full asking prices are the new builds that were built during the WORST of the housing downturn. These houses were also built in prime areas and are near the ocean and the heart of the village. Out of the 4 houses that I have in contract right now, 2 of them are brand new!
THE NEW HOUSES ALL SEEM TO HAVE THE ALL-IMPORTANT GREAT ROOM, which incorporates an open gourmet kitchen with a breakfast area, a sitting area or casual living room. The details include high, coiffured ceilings, hardwood floors, a fireplace and is always wired for televisions and computers.
Custom details also become crucial to the buyer; they want their imprint on the home...the needs have changed significantly since the recession hit.
ALMOST ALL NEW HOUSES INCLUDE ROOM TO ACCOMMODATE EXTENDED FAMILY MEMBERS---a guest cottage is crucial or at the very least, a pool house is added for the extra room. A finished basement is another amenity that is becoming important for a new build. The "escape" of a playroom, game room and even a wine cellar is big plus in these new houses. Some New Builds sport private theaters as well!
Life changed after 2001 and more young families live here year round while the"bread-winner" spends the week in New York City and returns to the Hamptons for the weekends. This changes many of the services offered year-round here in the Hamptons--Many people no longer find the off-season months depressing. There is year-round activity going on even in January and February, the notoriously gloomy time of year. The summers have never been busier!
OPEN LIVING AREAS DOMINATE THE "NEW BUILD"--a formal dining room is always included but the house itself is reflective of a very casual life style--"Gathering Rooms" are the way people like to live today and the builders are more than happy to meet these needs.
The construction itself is of the highest quality--no more "Spec House" influence. The most successful New Home builder is always aware of high quality and new high-tech materials that make the house a good solid investment. Some of the newer materials allow for the "sway" of a building in the wind--this is over and above the new regulations that require wind protection with re-enforcement of all roof lines and free standing structures like pool houses or gazebos.
MOST NEW HOUSES ARE BEING BUILT IN A PRIME PART OF SOUTHAMPTON VILLAGE. Near the ocean beaches and Gin Lane, and very near the shops, restaurants and museums, the Little Plains area is the most desirable spot right now.....even more popular with new home buyers than the world famous "Estate Section" of Southampton Village.
The reason seems clear; the location is the best in terms of walking to everything, including the train.
The Wall Street Journal ran an article a few weeks back regarding the "Walk to everything" mentality.
However, the other crucial factor in the popularity of this area is the PRICE! Compared to the estate section, a new home buyer can own a custom built house with all the "bells and whistles" for 1/2 of what they would pay in the estate area. Even though the lots are smaller, the added benefit of the proximity to the heart of the village and all IT has to offer makes the Little Plains Area a new destination for new home buyers.
The average "New Build" buyer has the money to pay for all the details that make a house stand out in the area. Southampton Village has had very strict architectural restrictions....in the past, the storied meetings of the ARB (Architectural Review Board)included fist fights, arguments between homeowners and several encounters that required a call up of the police to halt a near riot!---That was during the height of the market when emotions ran high and the owners of the small 1950's bungalows were on their soapboxes to try to halt the newer homes or "Mac Mansions" as they called them. "We are losing the charm of the village to these huge, new houses"! All that has changed now as the former outspoken neighbors watch thier homes lose equity and some have even HAD to sell their homes just to live. Sadly, the builders are more than happy to help out...Thus, the changes are established now and the normal resistance to the "New Builds" has faded into the past.
Meanwhile, the most obvious of all the intrusive, huge homes were already built in the estate section and on the ocean in the 1990s and the early 2000's...these homes were the sprawling result of years and years of excess and the large lots accomodated the large structures with no complaints....many of these houses now sit, waiting to be listed for sale and for the market to turn back in time to the early 2000's and that is not likely to happen soon!
**ALL INFORMATION AND CONTENT IN THIS BLOG IS ORIGINAL TO PAULA I. HATHAWAY. The views expressed herein are my personal views and do not reflect the views of Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Paula I. Hathaway, Senior Broker Associate, Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Southamtpon Village Real Estate Specialist since 1995; Also Specializes in North Sea, Noyac, Water Mill and Bridgehampton, New York
Diamond , Gold and Chairman's Circle Awards; Top Producer since 2005
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