The Real Deal New York

The Hamptons 10: A look at the priciest sales of the last 12 months

High-end sellers took a price hit in the year-end rush

June 01, 2013
By C. J. Hughes

From left:

From left: Related’s Jeff Blau, 95 Down East Lane and 20 Drew Lane

As summer ramps up in the Hamptons, the results of the winter buying season are coming into focus. Much like New York City, the vacation-home enclave on Long Island’s East End has mostly seen a slow and steady recovery since the worst of the recession. But unlike the Manhattan market, where the prices of trophy properties are being pushed sky-high by international buyers, prices in the Hamptons luxury market are still below boom-time levels. The 10 priciest homes sold in the past 12 months ranged from $17.5 to $45 million, for an average of $21.5 million, according to data compiled for The Real Deal by appraisal firm Miller Samuel. That average is down from $24.9 million in 2011 and $25.7 million in 2010. Why the price drop? While Hurricane Sandy had little impact on the area, brokers said, many homeowners — especially those with big-ticket properties sitting on the market — chopped their prices in the rush to unload before January, when higher capital gains tax rates went into effect. But things seem to be looking up. In March, hedge fund titan Steven Cohen spent $60 million on a 10,000-square-foot spread on East Hampton’s Further Lane, although the trade had not been filed in public records by press time. That’s the largest Hamptons home sale since 2008, when a 6-acre oceanfront spread at 104 Gin Lane in Southampton sold for $60 million. Home sales that expensive, though, are rare in the Hamptons today, and most high-end deals are in the $10 million range, said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel. “The Cohen deal would be the highest in a long time,” Miller said, “but it is somewhat of an outlier compared with what we have been seeing.”

58 and 54 Highway Behind the Pond, East Hampton

A mystery buyer snapped up these adjoining East Hampton properties, located next to the golf course at the exclusive Maidstone Club, in two separate October transactions for a total of $45 million — one of the biggest deals on the East End in years. Lawyer Salvatore Ranieri sold No. 58, a three-bedroom home designed in 1967 by the architect Hugh Hardy, for $25 million, according to the town assessor’s office. The same month brought the $20 million sale of No. 54, a four-bedroom house on a 1.4-acre parcel with a pool. Records list the buyers of both properties as limited liability corporations — PGR Family Realty for No. 58 and Wyoming East for No. 54. The homes were never publicly listed so it’s unclear which brokers — if any — were involved.

95 Down East Lane, Southampton

This seven-bedroom Cape on a 7.5-acre lot sold in December for $25 million, a substantial discount from its listing price of $29 million, and an even steeper drop from its original 2010 sticker price of $36 million. The listing agent, Hans von Schirach of Saunders & Associates, said the house is likely destined for the wrecking ball. The buyer, also represented by Saunders, is reportedly Dutch investor Louis Reijtenbagh, but von Schirach would not confirm that.

8 and 9 Five Rod Highway, Wainscott

Jeff Blau, CEO of the Related Companies, reportedly snapped up these two properties last summer for a total of $25 million. No. 8 is a six-bedroom home dating back to the 1600s, while No. 9 is an adjacent 2.4-acre property. The listing agent, Dana Trotter of Sotheby’s International Realty, declined to comment on the buyer’s identity, but she did say that a 21-stall horse barn at No. 8, along with its attendant paddocks, is being redeveloped. Trotter initially put the two lots on the market in 2010 with two other parcels for a total of $72 million. The price was then dropped to $57 million. Ultimately, the other two lots, at 109 and 113 Town Line Road, were picked up by a different buyer in April 2012 for $9 million total.

20 Drew Lane, East Hampton

Jerry Della Femina, an ad executive whose bestselling book inspired the TV series “Mad Men,” sold this eight-bedroom home in December for just under $25 million. The home, on 1.7 oceanfront acres just off prestigious Lily Pond Lane, also took some effort to unload. The home first came on the market in 2010 for $40 million, according to the listing agent, Corcoran’s Susan Breitenbach. The price had to be lowered more than a third before the property found a buyer, which Breitenbach attributed to the home’s need to be renovated as well as lingering recession-triggered uncertainty. “That’s the kind of market we’ve been in,” she said. She declined to comment on the buyer other than to say it was a New York family.

1730 Meadow Lane, Southampton

Tucked into the dunes by the ocean, this 10,000-square-foot house has seven bedrooms and nine baths along with seven fireplaces. Harald Grant of Sotheby’s listed the home in June 2012 at $32 million, but quickly dropped the price to $26 million, when it became clear that the original price was “too high” for the market, he said. The home eventually sold in December for $22 million, a discount of more than 30 percent in six months. Property records identify the seller as a Carol Sandler with a Southampton address; Grant wouldn’t comment on the buyer.

466 Gin Lane, Southampton

This 6,000-square-foot house sold for $21.6 million just 10 months after being listed with Douglas Elliman’s Raymond Smith for $26.5 million. Neil Smith of Promontory Growth and Innovation, a Manhattan consulting firm, was in contract to buy it from owners Michael and Mary Naughton when Sandy wiped out the dune in front of the house, though the home itself wasn’t damaged. Smith didn’t back out of the deal but did ask that the sand and grasses be replaced, the broker said. The Naughtons completed a $160,000 landscaping project to close the deal.

329 Highland Terrace, Bridgehampton

This 12,500-square-foot spec house was built and styled by interior designer James Michael Howard. It was listed in 2011 with Corcoran at $19.75 million and sold for $18.5 million. Among its features: limestone floors, coffered ceilings, a pool, a tennis court and a name — Edgefield. The land traded for $5 million in 2010, according to public records, which suggests the May 2012 sale brought a windfall for Howard. Listing agent Gary DePersia of the Corcoran Group declined to name the buyer.

555 Sagaponack Road, Sagaponack

This three-bedroom house on Sagg Pond first hit the market in 2011 for $22.9 million. Louise Linden, a local developer and Saunders agent, was the seller and agent on the deal, which closed in November at $18 million. Linden said she paid “under $1 million” for the home in 1977. The 55-year-old house was designed by well-known Hamptons architect Peter Blake, she said, but will likely be torn down, especially since the zoning allows a home of five times the size to be built there. Linden would not comment on the buyer, but said the price chop was a symptom of the market. “You are not seeing bidding wars in this economic environment,” she said.

1360 Meadow Lane, Southampton

This concrete contemporary house, designed in 1970 by Ward Bennett, sits on a 2.5-acre lot with a gunite pool and tennis court. The six-bedroom, 4,000-square-foot house sat on the market for a little more than a year before closing for $17.6 million in May 2012. The original asking price was $24.5 million, 28 percent more than its eventual closing price. Corcoran’s Davis, who had the listing with Sotheby’s Grant, did not return a call for comment. The seller was a Judy Rosenberg of Alpine, N.J., according to public records. The buyer was listed as Sheshin LLC.

250 Sagaponack Main Street, Sagaponack

This six-bedroom, 5,800-square-foot house, with a tennis court and pool, changed hands for $17.5 million in December, according to records filed with Suffolk County. It does not appear to ever have been publicly listed.

The Hamptons’ top listings

Despite the recent round of discount sales in the Hamptons, today’s sellers are going for the big bucks. Here are the top five priciest listings currently on the market in the Hamptons.

$75 million: 20-30 West End Road, East Hampton

Courtney Ross, widow of the late Time Warner honcho Steven Ross, listed this estate in late April with Ed Petrie of Sotheby’s International Realty. The main house has four bedrooms; there’s also a three-bedroom guest house on the property, which includes a barn and a heated pool. The 5.4-acre spread doesn’t have any oceanfront, but it does have access to coveted Georgica Pond.

$65 million: 351 Bridge Lane, Sagaponack

On Sagg Pond, this property covers 33 acres, with 19 preserved as open space. The 11,700-square-foot home, built in 2000, has seven bedrooms, a wood-paneled library, a heated gunite pool and six fireplaces. The owner — Robert Hurst, the retired vice chairman of Goldman Sachs — put it on the market about a year ago. The listing is with Debbie Loeffler and Julie Briggs of the Corcoran Group.

$60 million: 939 Scuttlehole Road, Bridgehampton

This 60-acre spread might be far from the ocean — north of the “highway,” officially known as Route 27 — but it has a name: Three Ponds Farm. The property includes an eight-bedroom home, designed by architect Allan Greenberg; a nine-hole golf course; a grass tennis court; formal gardens; and, of course, three ponds. It came on the market with Dana Trotter of Sotheby’s in 2008. The owner has not been publicly identified.

$55 million: 231, 491 and 849 Hayground Road, Bridgehampton

These three contiguous parcels make up Two Trees Farm, dairy land that developer David Walentas has turned into a horse showplace. Approved to be subdivided into 19 lots, the property has two residences, each with four bedrooms. The property came on the market in 2008 with a $95 million price tag. The listing is shared by Harald Grant of Sotheby’s and Judi Desiderio of Town & Country Real Estate.

$44.9 million: 249 Further Lane, East Hampton

This 17,000-square-foot, 10-bedroom home has a sunken tennis court, basketball court and heated gunite pool. John Healey of Town & Country is the listing agent for the property, which its unidentified owner put up for sale 15 months ago.

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