Thursday: The Worst “Slump” in Four Decades (Or: The Slow Demise of the Hamptons)

The real Central Park

  • Tragically, the Hamptons seem to be languishing. Corcoran brokers have resorted to cable television ads, and to cutting the price of Moriches Bay mansions by $600,000. But it’s not their fault: second home sales have been terrible everywhere. Yet there’s hope for these lonely $5 million-plus Hamptons homes–because “this is a market that is driven by ego and wannabes.” (New York Times)
  • Things aren’t looking so hot for new high-end American houses either. Luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers shrieks that the downturn in residential construction is the worst of its kind in 40 years. According to the Toll chairman, the building boom is “turning into a bust,” especially out in California, Vegas and Florida. The market is glutted–a deadly sin. (CNN/Money)
  • But who cares about buying new luxury homes? Not New York. The apartment rental market has “never been stronger,” says The Sun. In this case, strength means “vacancies hovering around 0%,” which means “demand for rental housing going through the roof,” which means “rents being increased by over 25% in the last five months.” Never been better. (NY Sun)
  • Or maybe everyone can head to Governor’s Island, soon to be redeveloped into a mecca of New York hipness. Or will it? Proposals for the island range from a new Globe Theater, a Nickelodeon resort and theme park, a college campus, a London Eye-like ferris wheel, or a teen rehab center. Why not all five? (NY1)
  • Or instead everyone can head to Clinton Hill, the lucky subject of a Post cover-story. This Brooklyn “dark horse” is selling its modern little brownstones for around $1 million, and so “nice restaurants, boutiques, a good butcher, cheese shop, all of that” are right around the corner. (New York Post)
  • Extravagant Luxury of the Day: the co-op secret garden. Behind the Time Warner Center is a 2.5-acre wonderland, where the Coliseum Park Apartments planted 10,000 bulbs in 2003. (It reflects a “minimalist sensibility”). (New York Times)
  • Max Abelson