Million-dollar Hamptons rentals remain unrented

Million-dollar summer rentals in the Hamptons seem to be proliferating, but the number of rich people willing to rent them appears more limited.

There are at least four properties in the Hamptons being offered for rent this summer for $1 million or more, according to an article in The Real Deal. Since many million-dollar rentals are not officially listed, with their rich owners preferring to market them more quietly, the actual number of seven-figure summer pads could be even higher.

This Southampton estate can be rented out for the summer for a total of $1.2 million.
Douglas Elliman

Yet Real Deal researched the owners of the properties and found that many of the million-dollar rentals have yet to find renters for the summer.

The most expensive is an eight-bedroom waterfront mansion in East Hampton, New York, that's being offered for $1.6 million for the summer. So far, no takers.

The same is true for an eight-bedroom oceanfront mansion in Bridgehampton that's still available for $1.2 million and a compound in Water Mill (owned by a cosmetic dentist whose clients have included the Rolling Stones) that's being offered for $1 million.

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Where are all the rich renters this summer? Some brokers say it's been a slow season at the high end. But there may be two other reasons: strong sales and overly rich rental rates.

With interest rates low, and wealth on the rise, many of the wealthy have chosen to buy in the Hamptons in recent years rather than rent. That's created strong sales, but it's also reduced the pool of possible renters.

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Another reason is that $1 million for a summer rental is a rich price—even for the rich. Sure, if you have a last-minute urge for an oceanfront mansion in the Hamptons and no other properties are available, you might pay. Many of the million-dollar rentals are already listed for sale, and owners figure if they can rent them for $1 million, why not give it a try? They are, in other words, highly discretionary rentals.

Still, there are so many other perfectly fine oceanfront mansions for rent in the Hamptons for a mere six figures (like this one in Montauk for a bargain $495,000) that you'd have to be completely money-indifferent to spend $1 million.