According to local real estate agents, and a handful of disappointed customers who waited too long, the 2012 summer rental season is the busiest in a while, and those who tarry will be renting elsewhere — not on the South Fork.
John Gicking, the vice president and manager of Sotheby’s International Realty’s East Hampton office, said, “The rental market is very strong. We have customers who are disappointed that they missed out on an oceanfront rental for this summer, and are already bidding on the same house for 2013.”
“It’s been a busy and brisk rental season,” said Patrick McLaughlin, the manager of the Sag Harbor Prudential Douglas Elliman office. “In fact, it started really early this year. I was working with potential renters back in October.” Mr. McLaughlin added, “It’s also been a good year for renters, in that there’s more inventory and choices than ever before. I’m discovering homeowners who in the past would never consider renting their homes are now getting on board.” Prices, he said, have “pretty much held steady over the past few years.”
Jennifer Linnick, an associate broker with Devlin McNiff Halstead, echoed those thoughts. “The rental market has been lively,” she said. “A few of my high-end properties rented very early, and now after a small lull people have been coming out, excited to rent.”
Some agents attribute the fact that East Hampton Village’s 2,900 nonresident beach parking passes have already sold out to the upswing in the rental market.
Town and Country brokers were booked solid showing rentals in January, according to that firm’s chief executive officer, Judi Desiderio. “Fifty percent of all rentals were done by Presidents weekend,” she said. Usually, Ms. Desiderio said, rentals then take a back seat to sales appointments in March, but this spring, “My rule was broken,” she said with a laugh. “Both rentals and sales were out of control in all seven Town and Country offices. Thank goodness, the East End breaks every rule.”