The Hamptons: Down but not out

As the East End gears up for summer 2017, a look at the market’s soft off-season, new high-profile pop-up restaurant and the latest mega trades

Apr.April 01, 2017 01:00 PM

The famed East Hampton home known as Grey Gardens is on the market for $19 million.

As New Yorkers get ready for the upcoming Hamptons season, they’ll have no shortage of off-season news to chew on. While they were perched in their high-end Manhattan condos and townhouses watching the 2016 presidential election unfold and braving the winter, the East End market was chugging along, albeit at a slower clip. Prices in the Hamptons dropped 8.1 percent between 2015 and 2016, and the number of transactions sank by 14 percent. While sales dropped across various price segments, a fourth-quarter market report by Douglas Elliman found that transactions above $5 million fell a massive 40.3 percent, “skewing marketwide price indicators lower.” Still, despite that slowdown, there has been plenty of action and celebrity-house swapping on the East End. “Today” host Matt Lauer, for one, plunked down $33 million on Richard Gere’s former house back in September. Meanwhile, the iconic home dubbed Grey Gardens hit the market in late February; the tony restaurant 11 Madison Park inked a summer pop-up location; and, on a more somber note, the iconic Sag Harbor Cinema, an institution on Main Street in that town, burned to the ground. Here’s a look at some of the most interesting off-season stats.


The asking price for the Hamptons’ most expensive rental for the Memorial Day-to-Labor Day season. The oceanfront home — which can also be snared for $1M for July or $1.5M for August through Labor Day — is being listed by the boutique firm Bespoke Real Estate. By comparison, the priciest rental on the more modest North Fork is asking $85,000.


The listing price for the East Hampton property where the Michelin-starred restaurant 11 Madison Park is opening a pop-up outpost dubbed EMP Summer House while its Manhattan location gets renovated. Chef Daniel Humm and partner Will Guidara reportedly have the option to buy the building at the end of their summer lease.


The listing price for Grey Gardens, the famed East Hampton estate that once belonged to Jackie O’s reclusive relatives “Little Edie” and “Big Edie” Bouvier Beale. The house, which was the subject of a 1975 documentary, fell into disrepair under the eccentric mother-and-daughter duo but was later bought by Washington Post Editor Ben Bradlee and his wife, Sally Quinn.


The drop in average sales price that listings in the Hamptons saw between 2015 — when that number hit $1.9 million — and 2016, when it clocked in at $1.74 million. Last year wasn’t that far off from 2007, when homes on the swanky South Fork were selling for $1.79 million.


The year that Hamptons Real Estate Online — or HREO — launched. The property website was scooped up by StreetEasy’s parent company, Seattle-based Zillow, in January for an undisclosed sum. But critics say that HREO is an ineffective platform that will need a complete overhaul. Zillow bought StreetEasy in 2013 for $50 million and Trulia for $2.5 billion in 2015.


The number of seats at the famed Sag Harbor Cinema, which was destroyed in a December fire along with seven other businesses — including the offices of real estate firms Compass and Brown Harris Stevens. The theater, which was financially struggling, was listed for $14 million at the time of the fire and remains on the market at that price. It’s iconic neon sign was salvaged.


The number homes that sold in the Hamptons in 2016. That’s down by about 14 percent from the year before and from 2014’s high of around 3,100. But it’s still way up from the dark days of 2009, when only about 1,100 homes sold.


The total volume of residential sales in the Hamptons in 2016, according to a recent report from the Corcoran Group. That’s down 10.7 percent from $4.61 billion in 2015.

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