Licensed as Timothy G. Davis, Lic. Assoc. R.E. Broker At The Corcoran Group
New York Cottages&Gardens-12/1/2012
IF YOU DIDN'T SEE ANY of your friends in real estate last August, it was because they were spending more time in their Range Rovers ferrying around customers than sunning on the beach. ?August is typically a dead time, and people don't want to waste their final month of the season looking at properties," says John McHugh, vice president and associate broker with Sotheby's International Realty. "But this past August was very busy, which led to a lot of activity and closings during the fall."
According to the Long Island Real Estate Report, 2012's top transactions occurred during the first four months of the year, ranging from the sale of 322 Meadow Lane in Southampton for $28.5 million to 171 Great Plains Road, also in Southampton, for $24 million.
Corcoran senior vice president Tim Davis personally handled ten sales over $10 million in 2012. "We started to set new pricing at the high end this year," he reports, "and we had buyers waiting in the wings and sellers more realistic about selling," though many sellers still held out for bigger deals. Davis is also on track to claim the top transaction of the year: His listing at 160 Ox Pasture Road in Southampton Village, which has an asking price of $49 million, is in contract-and it?s not even on the ocean. Designed by Grosvenor Atterbury in 1915, the 18,000-square-foot mansion was renovated to perfection by former Esprit executive Juergen Friedrich, who reportedly paid $8.5 million for the property pre-renovation in 2002. It sits on nine acres and features 12 bedrooms, indoor and outdoor pools and a tennis court, and an illuminated fountain.
In the past year international buyers from Asia, Russia, and South America have become serious competition for the hedge funders who typically seek our premium Hamptons properties. "You're seeing $80 million-plus transactions in New York City, and those people have no problem buying second or third homes here," says McHugh. "Once you buy your 10,000-square-foot duplex in the sky, you'll want a weekend place where you can enjoy the beach."
Instant gratification is still the name of the game, and turnkey properties and new construction are in demand. Consider the recent Saunders sale of luxury property developer Jay Bialsky's 260 Jobs Lane for $23.15 million, pre-completion Bialsky spared no expense on the choice two-and-a-half-acre Mecox Bay parcel with tennis, pool, and private dock. Coming up next year are two more Bialsky projects (all have been listed with Saunders's Terry Cohen): a 7,690-square-foot traditional on three acres in Sagaponack for just under $22 million and an 8,000-square-foot barn-style contemporary in Bridgehampton, already in contract for just under $12 million.
Not that it matters all that much at the high end, but anyone who borrows money to buy a Hamptons dream home is benefiting from the historically low interest rates. Davis just did a deal on a $2 million property whose buyer was able to finance at an adjustable 2.5 percent. "Even if you're paying a little bit more than you want to," he says, "you can borrow at such a low rate that you can afford to pay more. Buyers have incredible borrowing power right now."