Navigating the Northeast

Our trusted brokers welcome us to their exciting communities on Long Island—both in Nassau and Suffolk Counties—as well as in Newport, Rhode Island, to explore their thriving summer markets. These destinations can conveniently serve as one’s primary or secondary residence, making them particularly valuable. Here, we gather insider insights from Harald Grant, Kate Greenman, Molly Ferrer, James Retz, and Andrew Saunders, who have reported extensively on both the current hot spots in their respective markets and the most prevalent buyers.

Harald Grant
Sotheby’s International Realty: Southampton / 516.527.7712 / harald.grant@sothebyshomes.com

Q: Tell us about your background in real estate.
A: I was one of the first agents to open the Sotheby’s office here in the Hamptons, and that is now approaching 30 years. My business has been built by referrals, by being very discreet, and as much as possible, by trying to keep it simple. I have sold some properties many times over, and that experience helps inform the nature of certain properties, especially the high-end.

Q:  What kind of buyers are you seeing this summer?
A: Our buyers are well-heeled and well-versed in local real estate markets. They tend to do their own online and on-the-ground research, and have very good first ideas of the kind of Hamptons property they want to buy and/or in which to invest. The Village of Southampton has been reliably excellent value, and it still helps to know and understand local land use issues and opportunities.

Q: What are the “hot spots” in the Hamptons right now?
A: Buyers still seek the best value properties, starting with high-end oceanfront and private ocean beach access, to other waterfront properties on the bays, or lakes and ponds. A private dock is a very important asset. Following these, properties in close proximity to the Village centers remain “blue chip.”

Q: Tell us about any particularly exciting listings.
A: I have a couple of listings that have strong appeal. One, with private ocean access, is Southampton Village’s “Murray Compound” at 101 Pheasant Lane, a recently-finished, world-class home designed by Fleetwood & McMullan architects. The home has a pool,  an all-weather tennis court, private ocean access, and other exciting ameneties. The other listing, priced at $55 million on Southampton’s Barons Lane, is a very private oceanfront estate with about 4.5 acres and 430 ft of beachfront—it’s almost like its own private island.

Kate Greenman
Gustave White Sotheby’s International Realty / 401.965-5551 / kgreenman@gustavewhite.com

Tell us about your background in real estate.
A: I grew up in Newport and after college lived in Colorado and New York. After a career in retail promotion and a year of sailing, I returned to Newport and began my real estate career. Working in real estate was the perfect combination of using marketing and management skills, along with my long-standing knowledge of and love for the area. Although much has changed, our fantastic location and all Newport has to offer gets better each year. I specialize in high end coastal properties and particularly enjoy the variety and special listing inventory we have in Newport.

Q: What kind of buyers are you seeing this summer?
A: Fifty percent of the buyers we see in all price ranges are second (or third) home buyers. Most are from New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Colorado, California, and even Europe, and many are members of the New York Yacht Club. We have clients interested in the varied cultural institutions and sporting life. There are world renowned attractions, music festivals, house museums, yachting events, tennis, polo, and more. The buyers vary from young professionals to families and retirees—there really is something for everyone and almost every budget.
Q: What are the “hot spots” in Newport right now?
A: There are two kinds of “hot spots” right now: price and location. The properties at the lower end of the market in most locations often go soon after listing. The hot spot locations are anything waterfront and anything on Easton’s Point in Middletown between two amazing public beaches. Also, locations near the harbor, the historic Point section, and locations close to town or the beaches are very popular.

Q: Tell us about any particularly exciting listings.
A: “Wild Moor” is an exquisitely restored 22 acre estate at 21 Hammersmith Road in Newport. It is a beautiful stone residence designed by McKim, Mead & White with stunning period detail and original landscape designed by Olmstead.

Molly Ferrer
Sotheby’s International Realty: Southampton / 631.513.9895 / molly.ferrer@sothebyshomes.com

Q: Tell us about your background in real estate?
A: I’ve summered in Southampton all my life. I moved from Manhattan to Southampton in the early ’80s and began my career in real estate then. I’ve had my broker’s license since 1985. I’ve been at Sotheby’s since 1994 because I believe in the brand. We’re the best boutique real estate firm in the Hamptons, and also offer an international layer.

Q: What kind of buyers are you seeing this summer?
A: We are seeing a lot of young families, mostly from the East Coast and American.

Q: What are the “hot spots” in the Hamptons this summer?
A: Can’t beat the sunset and breezes plus awesome food at Baron’s Cove in Sag Harbor. I love the food at Le Bilboquet in Midtown and can’t wait for them to open at their new location on the Long Wharf in Sag Harbor. I predict this will be a hot spot. It has all the ingredients from the harbor side deck, perfect for yacht watching, to the delicious menu.

Q: Tell us about any particularly exciting listings.
A: I have the privilege of offering a wonderful estate on Coopers Neck Lane. It’s the most desirable street in Southampton because there is no traffic, the beach is at the end of the lane, and all of the properties are large estates. At the turn of the century this was a summer home for the Carnegie family. The current seller, a highly successful designer, has updated the 12,000 square-foot house meticulously and restored the architectural details. It has been featured in Town & Country Magazine and Architectural Digest. There are 10’ ceilings throughout, 11 bedrooms, 12 baths, and a separate apartment. There is a 50’ heated pool, a Har Tru tennis court, a barn, a gymnasium, nearly five acres to play on, and more—the buyer will have the ultimate Hamptons experience here.

James Retz
Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty / 631.423.1180 / jamesretz@danielgale.com

Q: Tell us about your background in real estate.
A: I’ve been licensed as a broker in six states, and my background includes two decades as a “practitioner” listing some of North America’s finest estates, managing branch and regional operations for major residential firms on both coasts, and many years as senior vice president of marketing and technology at Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty.

Q: What kind of buyers are you seeing this summer?
A: Eclectic. Demand continues strong due to high consumer confidence, Wall Street, relatively low interest rates, and minimal concerns regarding the overall job market. However, listing inventory for the Long Island market was down 25% in 2016. And it’s still down. With demand strong and inventory down, it fuels a frenzy amongst real buyers that just can’t find what they want (particularly if they’re “shopping” online without the benefit of a local real estate expert). This year may be among the best years we’ve had since 1922.

Q: What are the “hot spots” on Long Island right now?
A: There are several—almost all of the established towns and villages on the North Shore (especially Nassau County), in and around Huntington and Cold Spring Harbor, and the East End. Although “hot” has always been synonymous with “location,” I’d extend it to include “condition” (e.g. new construction).

Q: Tell us about any particularly exciting listings.
A: I’ll single out the Ritz-Carlton Residences, North Hills as exciting because we’ve been involved since the groundbreaking. Phase One (124 luxury condominiums) is over 90% sold already and construction and sales of Phase Two are underway. It’s the first Ritz-Carlton Residences ever built on Long Island, and the combination of high-quality construction, exceptional amenities, and world-class service have all converged to make this a tremendous success.

Andrew Saunders
Saunders & Associates / 917.696.1252 / AS@saunders.com

Q: Tell us about your background in real estate.
A: My real estate career began in 1996 after purchasing my first residential development parcel and becoming a brokerage client of Sotheby’s—where I built a number of luxury residences, most of which sold for record prices. I continued my development activities and became a sales agent soon after, knowing that this would give me a first look at compelling builder opportunities. I eventually became the leading investment broker in the Hamptons and worked with high net worth individuals, builders, and developers to identify highly lucrative investment opportunities. In 2008—after the consolidation of small mom-and-pop brokerages in the Hamptons by outside corporate firms had changed the brokerage ownership landscape—I purchased a building in Bridgehampton and created a broker-centric firm that married the spirit of the mom-and-pop firms. The building is now one of our four offices.

Q: What kind of buyers are you seeing this summer?
A: The critical mass of buyers continue to target properties priced under $2M. Year after year, most Hamptons transactions occur in this price category. The $3M-$5M category has also been active recently. These buyers tend to gravitate towards feature-rich new homes with the latest amenities.

Q: What are the “hot spots” in the Hamptons right now?
A: Westhampton, Sag Harbor, the Springs, and Montauk.

Q: Tell us about any particularly exciting listings.
A: Our agent Lilly de la Motte represents 675 Hedges Lane in Sagaponack, a rarified new estate on 2.3 acres. The 11 bedroom residence is beautifully conceived and built to exacting standards. The home is being sold furnished and is priced at $23.95M. Also, agents Lylla Carter and Krae Van Sickle are representing 460 Water Mill Towd Road, a new contemporary residence in Southampton. Listed at $4.495M, it features cutting edge design and sophisticated technologies.