It has been several months since we lasted posted on our favorite blog, and a lot has happened on the East End.
After a glorious 2015 summer, fall and early winter the calendar has flipped us into 2016 and we start back at zero.
Shaking the market in 2016 is new entrant Compass. The “technology driven” real estate brokerage moved into the Hamptons in a big way, but not without hitting some bumps on the road. Compass has pillaged the East Hampton office of Sotheby’s pulling top agent Ed Petrie (among others) into its warm embrace, and Petrie returned the love in short order orchestrating the $110,000,000 (yes, you are reading it correctly) sale of the Lily Pond Lane oceanfront compound assembled only in 2014, at a cost of $94,000,000, by hedge funder Scott Bommer.
Compass’ aggressive staff and agent recruitment efforts have caused a nervous stir among the large incumbent agencies, if not outright legal action by both Brown Harris Stevens and Saunders Associates alleging breach of contract and theft of data.
Another development whose impact may be significant is East Hampton Town’s new Rental Registry Law, opposition to which was vehement prior to being enacted mid January. The law makes it illegal for a landlord to advertise or rent out, and a tenant to rent, a property in East Hampton Town that has not been registered with the Town as a rental property. Applications for a rental registration number are being processed by the Town’s Building Department and cost $100 for a two year permit. While I’ve expressed support for a rental registry, many feel that the new law goes too far, criminalizing what could be innocent behavior with hefty fines, including possible jail time.
The biggest impact, however, has to do with the advertising restriction. Ads will require the RR# be displayed in order to comply with the law. This spells disconcerting news to everyone, but especially to real estate agencies who will be forced to drop unregistered properties from public display on the internet.
No doubt this will cause a general contraction in the volume of rentals this coming summer season, the economic impact on East Hampton Town as yet unpredictable. But probably not good