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Signs of Financial Euphoria: Hamptons Real Estate

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Get ready for the worst summer ever. Apparently the best rentals out on the East End are already gone. The little Gatsbys of the world have hoovered them up with this year’s giant bonuses, according to the New York Sun.
"The market is incredible. It's the best couple months we've had, probably since 2003," a Corcoran Group realtor tells the Sun.
Translation: The financial euphoria of Wall Street has once again devoured the Hamptons. When a real estate agent says a summer rental market is “the best” that means exactly the opposite for anyone looking for a place to rent.
And the real estate guys know exactly who is the blame: you. Assuming, of course, you work on Wall Street and earn a salary that could feed hundreds of starving children in impoverished places such as Greenwich, Connecticut. (And our survey results tell us you probably are.)

Considering last year's record bonuses in the financial sector, who needs to settle?
"It's the playground for Wall Street," one of Corcoran's top brokers in Bridgehampton, Gene Stilwell, said. He says that even if someone has the cash for high-end real estate, property is scarce.
"Every time I call for a high-end rental the lease is out," Mr. Stilwell said. "Looking for 8,000 square feet? It's just gone."
A local agent for Sotheby's, Myles Reilly, who has worked exclusively in the Hamptons for the past 15 years, says the rental market is the strongest he's ever seen: "Last year the rental season came late. This season there's not a lot of flexibility of price and the inventory is very tight."
The top agent at Prudential Douglas Elliman's Southhampton office, Laura Nigro, agrees that the big bucks from Wall Street made all the difference.

Hamptons Rental Market Soars [New York Sun]


Formula 1 Heiresses Recommend Real Estate, Dog Facials

Last year, Petra Ecclestone, daughter of Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, gave the California housing market a boost when she bought 90210 widow Candy Spelling's 57,000 square foot mansion for $85 million, as a crash pad for when she's in Los Angeles (she also owns a six-story house in London’s Chelsea neighborhood purchased for £56 million). Around the same time, Petra's sister, Tamara, paid $70 million for "a 16,000-square-foot historic brick home across the road from Kensington Palace." And while some would simply write the Sisters Ecclestone off as spoiled rich girls whose parents have footed the bill for these places (mom is Slavica Radic, a former Croatian model who lent Petra $82.4 million for the LA house), the Wall Street Journal sees what the haters will not: a couple of savvy investors who you might consider asking to manage your money. In an interview with the paper, which dubbed the Sisters Ecclestone "The First New Family of Real Estate," Tamara explained her investment thesis: Wearing Lululemon yoga pants and a fitted hoodie, Ms. Ecclestone sat in her living room, overlooking an outdoor lap pool, and explained that she sees their real estate holdings as smart purchases. "I think London [property] is a really good investment," she said. "There's no bank in the world that can give you that return." Ecclestone also shared some pearls of wisdom re: dealing with critics looking to bring you down, of which her fellow billionaires, newly minted or old, should take note. Last year Ms. Ecclestone starred in a reality program about her life called "Billion $$ Girl." One episode depicted her taking her dogs to Harrod's for facials and pedicures. Another shows her debating cancelling a meeting because she woke up with a pimple on her face. Her participation in the show, in the midst of a recession, drew criticism from many, including her father. Mr. Ecclestone said he could barely make it through one episode. "I spoke to her before and said… 'They're never going to show you in a good light,' " he said. "She was stupid to do it." Ms. Ecclestone took the criticisms in stride. "It's like water off a duck's back," she said. The First New Family Of Real Estate [WSJ]