The results are in for the top 10 house sales on the South Fork in 2013, at least according to Town and Country Real Estate. Drum roll please . . .
And the winner is . . . 52 Further Lane, East Hampton, at $62.5 million. Following it are 29 Spaeth Lane, East Hampton ($32.5 million); 200 Dune Road, Bridgehampton ($31 million); 408 First Neck Lane, Southampton ($28 million); 320 Murray Place, Southampton ($25 million); 39 Fairfield Pond, Sagaponack ($24 million); 1900 Meadow Lane, Southampton ($24 million); 450 Gin Lane, Southampton ($18.75 million); 24 Chauncey Close, East Hampton (almost $16.37 million), and 109 Town Line Road, Wainscott ($16 million).
As The Star was going to press, however, the top-10 lists from other agencies began to trickle in. Most notable on Sotheby’s list was the transfer of Wooldon Manor at 16 Gin Lane in Southampton, a former Woolworth family estate. It sold for $75 million in mid-December, along with four parcels of adjacent land.
Looking only at the Town and Country list, if it is a contest strictly between East Hampton and Southampton — setting Sagaponack, Bridgehampton, and Wainscott aside — East Hampton won, with its top-10 sales combined coming in at over $111 million. The top two were oceanfront and within a mile of each other, the one on Chauncey Close is a few miles west on Georgica Pond.
Southampton boasts four sales in the middle of the list totaling almost $96 million. Close, but no cigar.
All seven properties were in the areas’ respective estate sections. “These two villages continue to be the dominant forces on the high end,” according to a press release by Town and Country Real Estate.
Though ordinarily 8 of the top 10 sales are waterfront properties, according to Judi Desiderio, Town and Country’s chief executive officer, last year 9 of the 10 were waterfront with 7 on the ocean and 2 on ponds — Georgi ca Pond and Lake Agawam. The outlier is a property on Town Line Road, a spec house a few blocks from the ocean. Not fronting the water, it does have distant water views.
What is noteworthy is that the number-2 sale was roughly half of number 1, while the number-10 sale was roughly half of number 2. “It’s not uncommon for the crown jewel to be far above the next one down,” said Ms. Desiderio.
The prize for the most money paid in these parts for a property still goes to Ron Baron, a money manager listed at number 931 on Forbes’s list of billionaires, for the $103 million he shelled out for a 40-acre estate on Further Lane in East Hampton. That transfer, called “earth shattering” by Ms. Desiderio, was in 2007, at the height of the boom. “When he bought that, it broke the sound barrier,” she said.
However, there is another way to look at that sale. The property, which Mr. Baron bought from Adelaide de Menil and Ted Carpenter, was actually two parcels: 260 Further Lane, for $58 million, and 278 Further Lane, for $45 million. When viewed that way, the numbers don’t seem that over the top.
So, if the two parcels could be counted separately, that would make last year’s sale on Further Lane to Steven A. Cohen at $62.5 million the highest to date. Some agents speculated that the property never officially went on the market. Ed Petrie, the listing and selling agent, put the kibosh on that, claiming that the property “sold quickly . . . within a week.” More than that, he cannot say. He has signed a confidentiality agreement.
As of press time, there was speculation in an article in The Observer that Mr. Cohen has put his property back on the market. The article also suggested that there may be an interested party, though that does not appear to be David Geffen, the Hollywood impresario, who it is rumored was outbid by Mr. Cohen for the property in March.
Though numbers were good last year and the market continues on its forward march, 2007 still reigns as the year that was. A market commentary by Town and Country that year was titled, “Oh, Thank Heaven for 2007.” A quick comparison to 2007 reveals that the average house in that year’s top-10 list went for more than $34 million, while last year’s average price was shy of $28 million. “Seven years ago, when the high end was flying, [a property for] $16 mill wouldn’t have posted in the top 10,” said Ms. Desiderio. Indeed, the lowest on 2007’s list was almost $24 million, and seven were above $30 million.
As for poor old 2012, its list descended from a property on Meadow Lane in the high $20 millions to an $18-plus million property on Two Rod Highway in Wainscott at number 10. East Hampton had five houses on the list that year. Onward and upward.