Fiscal cliff fears prompt Hamptons wealthy to dump real estate before Jan. 1

Jessica Stanton Contributor
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Hampton homeowners are racing to get rid of their properties in the hope of pre-empting the onslaught of higher capital gains taxes that are scheduled to hit on Jan. 1.

A fiscal cliff deal could result in a 39 percent rise on short-term investments and a 5 percent increase on long-term gains. Additionally, the country’s top earners will be slammed with a 3.8 percent Obamacare surtax on all gains.

Enzo Morabito, a top Hamptons-based broker with New York firm Douglas Elliman, described the rush to sell as a “frenzy.”

“People know they save money if they sell now. I have very willing sellers and hot buyers who want to take advantage of the low interest rates that might go away next year as well,” Morabito told The Daily News.

Hampton-area brokers are anticipating 30 homes to close before the new year, with values varying between $1 million and $25 million.

Morabito’s team have already closed on eight homes, including two mega-mansions for a cool $6.9 million and $14.9 million.

Ernie Cervi of Corcoran Group is also reaping the benefits of the frenzy. He’s seen a $25 million estate close two weeks after it went to contract, and his division has an exclusive listing on a $3.55 million bayfront home.

“It’s off the charts. The feeling here is reminiscent of the market highs of 2005,” Cervi declared.

Homeowners are not taking any risks either, cutting prices to sell as quickly as possible.

Paul Brennan, another broker with Doulglas Elliman, backed this up.

“We had a beachfront seller in Southampton who reduced his home 15 percent to $23 million this week. The window is closing. If you’re anticipating any fiscal cliff, you better sell now.”

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Jessica Stanton