This Summer, Hamptons Homeowners Shifted Focus to Short-Term Renters

This summer in the Hamptons, homeowners altered their listing strategies as the peak summer season approached, hamlets further west saw an increase in asking prices, and renters prioritized different home features than they have in the past.

With Labor Day behind us, let’s take a look at how the Hamptons rental market fared this summer, including which areas heated up and cooled off, and which amenities were most sought-after by 2019 renters. Check out the data below, and search for your next Hamptons or North Fork home on Out East.

Short-Term Stay? Patience Is Key

Renters opting for stays less of than a month learned that patience was key in order to find the best home at a good price. As full-season rentals lingered on the market well into May, many homeowners decided to make the switch to offering their home for a month or even shorter periods, giving those prospective renters even more options. Inventory for short-term rentals increased every month between February and July of this year. In July, there were 2,614 short-term rentals available, up 8% from last year.

Those who waited it out for their ideal rental were also able to score a deal, saving an average of $1,000 on their short-term stays. In March, the median asking price for a short-term rental was $16,000, but by July, it fell to $15,000.

Hamlets With the Most Increases in Short-Term Inventory in 2019

Area Increase in Inventory
Westhampton Beach 29%
Hampton Bays 19%
Remsenburg 15%
East Quogue 13%
Amagansett 7%

While short-term renters had more to choose from, those hoping to score a full summer rental in the Hamptons had fewer choices. In March — typically a popular time to list and book homes for rent on the East End — there were 3,218 homes available to rent from Memorial Day through Labor Day, 18% fewer than the previous year, and another sign that homeowners adjusted their listing strategies this year.

The number of full-season rentals available on Out East also continued to dwindle in April and May, as homeowners increasingly focused on trying to attract renters looking to stay for shorter periods of time.

Amagansett and West Hampton Prices Heat Up

This summer, hamlets further west were trending for renters. In Amagansett, full-season rentals asked a median of $77,000 — up 18% from 2018, perhaps as renters eyed the area’s wide range of restaurants, nightlife and fantastic beaches.


Westhampton saw a similar situation, especially in the Westhampton Dunes area. Full-season rental prices there rose 11%, to a median asking price of $122,500. Westhampton is a great option for renters who prioritize a shorter commute from the city while still seeking easy access to the best the Hamptons has to offer.

A majority of East End hamlets saw an increase in asking prices of full-season rentals this year, while just two areas, Water Mill and Wainscott, remained stagnant year-over-year, at $125,000 and $80,000, respectively.

Renters Prioritize Tennis Courts Over Waterfront Location

While a pool, central air and South of the Highway location remained the most important features to renters in 2019, tennis courts beat out a waterfront locale for the fourth-most popular feature among East End searchers. As renters found homes that offered pools — still the most popular amenity by far — perhaps they realized that being on the water wasn’t as important as being able to practice their backhand.

Amenities By Share of Rental Searches in 2019 vs. 2018

Amenity 2019 Share of Searches 2018 Share of Searches
Pool 53.3% 52.8%
Central Air 7.0% 10.9%
South of the Highway 3.6% 7.0%
Tennis 2.2% 2.1%
Waterfront 1.5% 3.6%

The Most Popular Places to Rent in the Hamptons

The five most popular destinations for renters remained the same this year, though their rankings changed. Sag Harbor jumped a spot, just barely beating out Montauk to land at number three. The share of user searches changed a bit as well. The amount of searches by renters prioritizing East Hampton dropped 10 percentage points year over year, suggesting that this summer’s renters considered a more diverse range of areas on the East End.

Hamlets by Share of Rental Searches in 2019 vs. 2018

Town Share of Searches 2019 Share of Searches 2018
East Hampton 11.7% 21.7%
Southampton 8.9% 7.5%
Sag Harbor 7.1% 6.3%
Montauk 7.0% 6.9%
Amagansett 5.6% 5.7%

As more renters opt for shorter-term rentals over full-summer stays, homeowners will be wise to adjust their listing strategies early in the 2020 season to capture the most interest in their home.

Inspired to find your next home on the East End? Search Out East for rental and sale properties in the Hamptons and North Fork.

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