The 10 priciest Hamptons home sales of 2019

Amid rising inventory, discounts were plentiful

From left: 263 Surfside Drive and Ivan Kaufman with 901 and 939 Scuttle Hole Road (Credit: VHT Studios, Arbor)
From left: 263 Surfside Drive and Ivan Kaufman with 901 and 939 Scuttle Hole Road (Credit: VHT Studios, Arbor)

UPDATED, Jan. 9, 2019, 2:35 p.m.: A $27 million spec home. A $26 million teardown. A palatial estate snagged for a $40 million discount.

These were the top Hamptons home sales of 2019, a year in which buyers still held the upper hand after nearly two years of rising inventory. Much like last year, discounts and off-market deals were pervasive — but some lingering properties found buyers before the decade’s close.

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Overall, last year’s top 10 sales skewed slightly higher than 2018 — with an average sale price of $30.5 million, compared to $24.9 million. The top 10 sales also saw a jump, totaling $303.5 million in 2019, compared to $249.1 million a year prior.

Still, the number of sales above $5 million is sliding. During the third quarter alone, the number of sales at that price point dropped 15 percent, according to appraisal firm Miller Samuel. That was despite the “most substantial” listing discounts tracked in four years.

Here are the 10 most expensive Hamptons home sales of 2019:

1. 263 Surfside Drive, Bridgehampton | $39.25M
After paying $110 million for three properties on Lily Pond in East Hampton in 2016, natural gas billionaire Michael S. Smith and his wife, Iris, unloaded their “small” Hamptons home for $39.25 million. Located in Bridgehampton, the 7,360-square-foot house sits on 1.42 acres and has private beach access. It also has a pool and pool house, outdoor kitchen with a pizza oven and views of Sagg Pond. It was originally asking $42.5 million. An unknown buyer purchased the house in an off-market deal.

2. 901 and 939 Scuttle Hole Road, Water Mill | $35M
REIT executive Ivan Kaufman waited until the price was right before buying Three Ponds Farm in Bridgehampton for $35 million — a massive discount from the $75 million asking price in 2003. The CEO and president of Arbor Realty Trust closed in May on the 58.60-acre estate, which has its own 18-hole golf course. It also has a 25,000-square-foot house overlooking Long Pond, a pool, pool pavilion and grass tennis court. It was previously owned by the late real estate magnate Edward S. Gordon.

3. 950 Meadow Lane, Southampton | $35M
What’s a teardown on Southampton’s Billionaires’ Lane worth? In the case of 950 Meadow Lane, $35 million. In October, an unknown buyer picked up the 2,799-square-foot oceanfront property, which sits on an enviable 3.2 acres with a tennis court and pool. The seller was Mary Helen Jordan.

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4. 80 Meadowmere Lane, Southampton | $32.5M
Private equity executive Gary Garrabrant sold his newly built Southampton home for $32.5 million — a discount from the initial $42.5 million asking price. Built in 2012, the 12,000-square-foot house has nine bedrooms, five fireplaces, a 1,500-bottle wine cellar, game room and movie theater. The property also has 110 feet of frontage on Halsey Neck Pond, a 55-foot saltwater pool, pool house, four-car garage and regulation tennis court that doubles as a half basketball court. Garrabrant, who was CEO of Sam Zell’s Equity International until 2013, is the founder of real estate PE shop Jaguar Growth Partners. The buyer is unknown.

5. 96 Meadow Lane, Southampton | $31.35M
Built on spec more than a decade ago, the house at 96 Meadow Lane in Southampton fetched $31.35 million in 2019. Situated on 2.28 acres of oceanfront property, the house has seven bedrooms and 10 baths, plus an elevator, home theater, wine room and oceanside infinity pool. It was built in 2006, a year after a developer purchased the vacant land for $10 million, at the time generating some criticism because the house is larger than 10,000 square feet. Records show the seller — Seacret LLC — paid $21.6 million in 2011. The buyer was Casa Meadow LLC.

6. 980 Meadow Lane, Southampton | $29.5 million
An unknown buyer snagged a “modern box” sitting on 4.12 acres overlooking Shinnecock Bay in December. Last asking $32 million, the property belonged to James Mulholland III, a computer executive. He inherited the home in 2000 from his parents, Clariel and James S. Mulholland, founder of Hayden Publishing Co. It has a modern, 2,500-square-foot house the new buyer will likely opt to tear down; there’s room for a 12,000-square-foot home with a pool and tennis court, according to the listing.

7. 660 Halsey Neck Lane, Southampton | $27.9M
Morgan Stanley’s Bruce Bockmann sold Four Fountains — a seven-acre historic estate — for $27.9 million. Originally priced at $35 million, the house was also offered as a possible combination with 359 Meadow Lane, for a total of $72.5 million. Built in the 1920s, it was originally used as an arts pavilion and later owned by former CBS chief William S. Paley. The grounds include a 60-foot swimming pool, a half-acre pond and a second, 60-foot reflecting pool lined with pear trees, according to the listing.

8. 370 Fowler Street, Water Mill | $27.5M
It took more than four years, but SiriusXM and Virgin media director James Mooney finally sold his Water Mill home for $27.5 million this year. Mooney listed the estate for $35 million in 2014. Situated on 3.3 acres, it includes a 9,000-square-foot mansion, pool house and private walkway to the Atlantic Ocean. Mooney paid $4.1 million in 2002. The buyer is unknown.

9. 6 Olde Towne Lane, Southampton | $27M
Once featured on the “Secret Lives of the Super Rich,” Kean Development Company’s spec house in Southampton sold for $27 million after two years on the market. The estate, nicknamed Summer House, sits on 3.84 acres. It first hit the market in 2017, asking $35 million. According to the listing, the estate spans 23,000 square feet with a 16,000-square-foot main house, which conveniently features a rooftop putting green. There’s also a sunken tennis court, pool and pool house. The home’s lower level also features a theater, gym, basketball court, spa with juice bar and sauna.

10. 236 Quimby Lane, Bridgehampton | $26M
The Bridgehampton home of the late real estate developer Victor Elmaleh and his wife, the late ballerina Sono Osato, sold for $26 million. Sitting on four acres, the house at 236 Quimby Lane is considered a teardown. Osato died in 2018 at age 101. The house hit the market earlier that year asking $37 million. The buyer is unknown.

11. 7 West End Road, East Hampton | $22M (tie)
It was on and off the market for almost 10 years, but the Manheim estate in East Hampton finally sold before the new decade. Built in the 1960s, the estate belonged to the late Paul Manheim, a partner at Lehman Brothers who died in 1999. The 3.55-acre property has 145 feet of beachfront and includes a French-style château and 800-square-foot cottage. But marketing materials highlight the option of building up to 10,000 square feet above grade.

11. 412 First Neck Lane, Southampton | $22 million  (tie)
It took several years and a few price chops, but the historic Normandy estate found a buyer after asking $24.9 million. The estate, which comes with an 8,000-square-foot main house, has a separate guest cottage, swimming pool, 400 feet of water frontage on Lake Agawam and a new sunken all-weather tennis court. It first hit the market in 2016. At the time, it was offered with an adjacent, three-acre lot for a combined $65 million. But there were no takers. In 2018, the vacant lot at 408 First Neck Lane sold for $13 million.

UPDATE: This story was updated to include the sales of 980 Meadow Lane and 412 First Neck Lane, which did not appear in public records until after the time of publication.

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