If the top ten sales of 2018 in the Hamptons can be summed up in one word, that word would be “unremarkable,” according to Judi A. Desiderio, CEO of Town & Country Real Estate. The biggest sale was $40 million; in other years (such as the blockbuster 2014), that would have been a middling entry to the list. “And,” adds Desiderio, “number one wasn’t even in the village of East Hampton–it’s to the right of the village boundary. But it’s a gorgeous property on the double dunes, with six acres. The buyer got a lot for their money. Originally the property was asking $69 million in 2016, but it sold for $40 million.”
A similar example is number 9 on the list, 86 Bay Lane, Water Mill. Originally asking $30 million in March 2015, the property closed at $18.375 million.
Another interesting facet to the list: geographic diversity. In previous years, the villages of Southampton and East Hampton heavily dominated the top 10; in 2018, the properties stretch from Murray Lane, Southampton, all the way to Montauk. “In the past 15 years or so I’ve been compiling these lists, one thing that has been consistent is that high numbers tend to be oceanfront or waterfront,” says Desiderio. “This stands out as an odd year, with the listings scattered all over the place. Of course, the numbers were lower this year.”
In fact, 7 out of 10 of the sales occurred in the first half of 2018. Is this an ominous sign? We tend to think not–many people try to get deals done as soon as possible in the beginning of the year, so they can be in for summer. And there are some good deals happening now, such as the $35 million 6 Olde Towne Lane, Southampton, property going into contract.
Desiderio comments, “I’ve been in this business 34 years and this is what I call an emotional market. After all, if you are wealthy enough to buy something north of $10 million as a second or third home, you’re a very well-connected buyer. You’re aware of all the geopolitical moves and the whiplashing stock market. Right now, I think our market is in a holding pattern, but once spring comes, we’ll see the bargain hunters.”
Barry Rosenstein’s 2014 purchase of two contiguous 3.7-acre parcels on Further Lane for $147 million was the most valuable United States residential sale ever. Until just recently, that is, when Ken Griffin’s purchase on Central Park South for $238 million blew it out of the water. Does this portend good things for the Hamptons? After all, that deal was set up years ago. “Yes, but after all, he could have stepped out of the contract and didn’t,” says Desiderio.
“When it comes down to it, in that world, everyone likes to be at the same party. My prediction is that when the weather breaks, we will see many very wealthy people making great deals out here.”
- $40 million
290 Further Lane – East Hampton
Topping the charts this year was the sale of the property belonging to the widow of late Goldman Sachs partner and former Metropolitan Opera Chairman James Marcus. There are 6.1 acres of semi-oceanfront land (between the property and the ocean lies dunes owned by the Nature Conservancy). There is also a 10,000 square foot house by Francis Fleetwood. Frank Newbold at Sotheby’s and Ed Petrie at Compass represented the seller; Cody and Zach Vichinsky at Bespoke brought the buyer.
- $32 million
134 Murray Lane, Southampton
Two acres of oceanfront land in the McDonnell-Murray compound was number 2 this year. Hedge funder Leon Shaulov purchased a property with 200 feet of private beach, a pool, a tennis court, and a four-bedroom, 7,200-square-foot house, which came with the potential to build up to 13,000 additional square feet. Harald Grant at Sotheby’s represented the seller while Bespoke brought the buyer.
- $26.1 million
51 Halsey Lane, Water Mill
Villa Maria, which spent almost ten years on and off the market, finally sold this year in two parcels. A Mr. Cs Lim LLC purchased the house and 7.5 acres for just over $26 million, while a Mr. 55 Halsey LLC purchased 3.5 acres for $9.8 million. Another 3.6 acres sold for $10 million to 57 Halsey Lane Associates LLC. Cody and Zach Vichinsky of Bespoke Real Estate represented the listing.
- $24 million
121 Further Lane, East Hampton
Lasata closed in January after coming on the market in September of 2016. The main house and 7 acres of land sold for $24 million. Along with the 8,500 square foot house, there’s also a guest house and a pool house. The property was listed by Douglas Elliman agents Carol Nobbs and Eileen O’Neill, Susan Breitenbach of Corcoran, and Peter Turino at Brown Harris Stevens.
- $22.71 million
719 Ocean Road, Bridgehampton
In February, this 4.2 acre property on Sagg Pond closed for an oddly specific $22,711,119. There are ocean views and 700 feet of pondfront, along with a small 1950s cottage. Linda Nasta at Corcoran represented the seller.
- $22.3 million
240 Old Montauk Highway, Montauk
The highest sale in Montauk in 2018 was also the highest sale in Montauk in 2012. Mike Goodwin purchased the oceanfront property for $10.45 million and gutted it. Then he began readying it for sale this year, but it was sold by Sotheby’s agents Dominique Garstin and Rylan Jacka before ever being listed.
- $20 million
3 West Dune Lane, East Hampton
This 1.6 acre oceanfront plot of land belonged to the late Dina Merrill.
- $18.8 million
79 Surfside Drive, Bridgehampton
This oceanfront teardown sold in a matter of months. Listed by Terry Cohen at Saunders, 1.5 acres of land sports 140 feet of ocean frontage.
- $18.375 million
86 Bay Lane, Water Mill
After more than two years on the market, and down from an initial ask of $30 million, this bayfront property closed. Listed by Sotheby’s agent Harald Grant, there are 4.6 acres of land with a private dock on Mecox Bay, a main house designed by Robert A.M. Stern, a guest cottage, pool, and tennis.
- $17.28 million
19 Chauncey Close, East Hampton
3.5 acres of land right on Georgica Pond with ocean views and an interesting house partially created from a 1520 English barn. The property sold in two parcels; the vacant parcel of 3.9 acres sold for $6.7 million. The property first came to market in 2015 asking $45 million and was on and off the market with various agencies and agents. Compass agent Lori Schiaffino finally got the property sold.