Summer is in full swing in the Hamptons. On the beaches, surfers and piping plovers vie for sand space, and at the Bridgehampton Polo Club the games have begun. In East Hampton, the fresh lobster salad at Claws on Wheels is selling briskly at $60 a pound. Every weekend, the parade of cars from the city snags horribly in Watermill. And renters have returned in large numbers to snap up houses from Southampton to Montauk.For those who wish to join this sun-bleached and sandy set, it is not too late to rent a place: options are still available in every price range. And this year they are down from prerecession heights, and owners are being more flexible on the lengths of rentals.Brokers said they were relieved to see a return to a “normal” market just one year after the post-Lehman summer of 2009, which some referred to as “catastrophic.” Some houses stood empty of renters all season long.“What a difference a year makes,” says Judi Desiderio, the president of Town and Country Real Estate. She described 2009 as the worst Hamptons rental season she had experienced in 28 years in the business. And she says her company has done three times the number of rentals it did last summer.
By Sarah Maslin Nir, July 1, 2010 NYT

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