Old Money and New Builds: How the Hamptons Real Estate Scene is Changing

The Hamptons have long been a summer playground for old-money families with sprawling, historic mansions. However, a new crop of Hamptons luxury real estate is transforming the landscape. Fueled by Wall Street wealth and demands for modern amenities, contemporary mega-builds with high-tech features and over-the-top amenities are popping up. Though architectural styles may differ, old and new money desire first-class vacation homes steps from the beach. Here’s how the Hamptons real estate market is changing:

Demand for year-round luxury lifestyles

Traditionally favored as a seasonal destination, the Hamptons have seen a surge in those desiring to live in the area full-time. Ultra-luxurious new construction homes have mushroomed across Southampton, East Hampton, and Bridgehampton. New trophy mansions in the Hamptons, equipped with advanced smart home technology, cater to the growing demographic of younger, wealthy buyers.

Old money retains its luster and charm

The Hamptons’ old-world real estate, often passed down through generations, retains its prestige despite the proliferation of modern builds. These historic homes, including stately Colonials and charming cottages, attract buyers for their nostalgic origins, authentic shingle-style architecture, gorgeous landscaping, and peaceful settings. The Hamptons’ secluded privacy has been compromised by aggressive development, yet those seeking a rural getaway still long for these areas.

Differing architectural styles reflect changing values

The differences between new builds and old money estates directly correlate to changes in what the wealthy value today compared to the past. Modern, streamlined designs are the hallmark of new luxury construction, with open-concept layouts encouraging entertaining and leisure. Compared to old money homes with a more compartmentalized layout that fosters privacy, new builds focus less on retreat and more on conspicuous consumption. However, historic properties, inherited or purchased, often have a graceful elegance that surpasses the aesthetic appeal of modern builds, a quality often lacking in nouveau riche spec homes.

The Hamptons: Where Old World Meets Brave New World

The Hamptons housing market faces challenges due to high prices and limited inventory, making ownership unattainable for the wealthy, established families, and new moguls drawn to the high-life lifestyle. The Hamptons, a blend of tranquil villages and old money lineage, is a prestigious enclave of privilege, luxury, beauty, and exclusivity, attracting both the old guard and the vanguard despite varying tastes in design, architecture, and lifestyle.

Buying a home in the Hamptons

The Hamptons, renowned for its stunning beaches, charming villages, and luxurious estates, has long been a sought-after vacation spot for the wealthy. Although purchasing real estate in this area has always been pricey, the value of homes in exclusive neighborhoods like East Hampton and Southampton has skyrocketed in recent years. The perfect storm of limited land, foreign money flooding the market, and wealthy buyers sparing no expense has made the Hamptons one of the most prohibitively costly places in the country to purchase a home. 

Hamptons luxury real estate

The Hamptons on Long Island’s East End contain some of the world’s most expensive and exclusive real estate. Oceanfront mansions with private beaches and advanced amenities like home theaters, wine cellars, and infinity pools line the coastline. Luxurious equestrian estates with riding arenas, stables, and acres of beautiful trails may be found further inland. Hamptons houses are the pinnacle of luxury living, with exquisite architecture and interior design. Some of these estates sell for over $100 million to affluent buyers looking for prominent second homes.