The Hamptons have become a solid buyer’s market, where listings at all price ranges are plentiful and huge price reductions are common. “Five years ago people would think something was wrong with a ‘reduced’ property,” said a Corcoran broker. Now “people don’t want to look at it unless it is reduced.” In today’s Hamptons being a bargain-hunter is more chic than ever. And nobody wants to overpay. “The worst thing that could happen is you are at a cocktail party and somebody could say, ‘Oh, you paid that for that?’ ” she said. “They are more concerned about that than anything else.”

SOUTHAMPTON, NY – There was a time, not long ago, when some Hamptons residents were flipping homes here for obscene returns. Christopher Burch, a venture capitalist and entrepreneur, started buying oceanfront properties in Southampton in 1997. He renovated and resold them, usually doubling his money every two years, he said. In the decade between 1997 and 2007, “all the properties I bought on the ocean went up between five and seven times in value after a little bit of work,” he said…Marketwide, prices about doubled in the Hamptons in that decade, and most sellers tripled or quadrupled their investment after renovating, said Jonathan J. Miller, president of Miller Samuel, a real estate appraisal firm. “If homes aren’t priced correctly, they probably won’t even be shown,” said one broker. While the luxury Hamptons market — with sales over $20 million — is recovering at a faster pace than the rest of the market, there is little wow factor in what’s been happening lately.
By Alexei Barrionuevo, August 16, 2012 NYT

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Classic Southhampton Estate.