Real Estate’s Best and Brightest: Part II

This issue highlights the booming real estate markets that constantly tempt our readers, from Manhattan and the Hamptons to our favorite warm weather destinations in Miami and Palm Beach. Our top property agents hail from a number of acclaimed firms including Sotheby’s Realty, Berkshire Hathaway, Saunders, Stribling, Compass, and Douglas Elliman, and utilize their unrivaled knowledge to provide insight into current trends and emerging neighborhoods like Hudson Yards in Manhattan and Coconut Grove in Miami. Quest readers are provided with keen advice for buying and selling—purchasers are being urged to act “quickly,” while sellers are advised to confidently embrace realistic pricing.

A. Laurance Kaiser IV

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New York Properties / 646.677.1039 /

Q: What are some real estate trends you are noticing right now?
A: Trends have always been the same—it’s just a question of price, location, condo vs. co-op, work needed and the quality of the references, both social and financial. It really just depends on the buyer.

Q: Do you have any advice for buyers and sellers?
A: If you fall in love with something and you can afford it, buy it. Don’t spend time as a buyer thinking of what prices used to be. If you were alive when the Native Americans sold Manhattan Island, you could’ve paid $14 for the whole enchilada. For sellers, if the price people offer is realistic, your first offer tends to be your best. Do not spend time listening to friends who tell you how wonderful the property is and the price you should ask. Depend on professionals to tell you what a property should bring financially.

Q: What are the most popular neighborhoods in New York right now?
A: Totally depends on the buyer. Some want a quality building on 5th Avenue and have no interest in Tribeca, Chelsea, etc., while others want exciting buildings in the newly discovered neighborhoods. Greenwich Village has always been popular because of its intimacy, and Tribeca is wonderful for those interested in art and fashion. The flower market will not exist for very long.

Q: Please share details about some of your exciting listings.
A: All my listings are exciting that’s why I take them. If one has certain sellers who are not ready to sell unless a buyer comes along offering an extravagant price, those are not publicized because many times it becomes a waste of time for buyers and their brokers. The most exciting listings are listings with whom you have a customer with the price the seller is willing to take.

Cristina Condon

Sotheby’s International Realty / 561.301.2211 /


Q: What are some real estate trends you are noticing right now?
A: New construction, as always, is very hot right now, as well as completely and beautifully renovated homes. Many buyers seem to be looking for a “turnkey” option—they want the work already done by the time of purchase. Additionally, oceanfront and lakefront properties remain in high demand.

Q: Do you have any advice you’d like to share with buyers and sellers? Are you currently seeing a buyers’ market or sellers’ market?
A: The market is very stable and it is neither a buyers’ or a sellers’ market. At present, things are pretty evenly balanced. As a result, both buyers and sellers should remain realistic regarding pricing and there will likely be some give and take in negotiations.

Q: What are the most popular neighborhoods in the Palm Beach area right now?
A: Waterfront properties are always in high demand and the North End is seeing a great deal of activity. “In-town” locations are also increasing in popularity.

Q: Please share details about some of your exciting listings.
A: All of my listings are beautiful and I have offerings in every price point. One unique and current listing is Acqua Liana, or Water Flower, which is a magnificent Tahitian-inspired ocean-to-lake estate located in Manalapan. Situated on approximately 1.6 acres with 150 feet of ocean frontage, the property offers a tranquil setting with its many water features including waterfalls, water floors, swimming pool, reflecting pools and a 2,000 gallon aquarium. The property has seven bedrooms, 10 and a half bathrooms in the main house and guest house with ample space for hosting family and friends. The estate has a private dock, summer kitchen and theatre room.

Stan Ponte
Sotheby’s International Realty / 646.489.3066 /

Q: What are some real estate trends you are noticing right now?
A: In today’s market, I see a trend toward a “back to basics” approach to real estate. This is not a market where buyers are willing to settle for less! Basics such as open and protected views, great light, etc., as well as future sale-ability and opportunity for price appreciation are all top of mind. My buyers first assess whether the apartment is fit for them, and then want to make sure that the home will have a solid resale value.

Q: What are the most popular neighborhoods in New York right now?
A: The exciting thing about New York City is that we have many vibrant, growing and emerging neighborhoods. Established neighborhoods like Greenwich Village and the Upper West Side continue to thrive with great proximity to fine dining and schools while new infrastructure like the Second Avenue subway has created renewed energy and increased property values on the Upper East Side. The Hudson Yards project has literally transformed Midtown West into a new glistening mini-city. And, perhaps, most noteworthy is “The New Downtown.” This area south of Chambers Street now offers new shopping venues like Westfield place, new restaurants like Wolfgang Puck’s “Cut,” and the newly relocated Nobu Downtown.

Q: Please share details about some of your exciting listings.
A: From East End Avenue to the West Village, Tribeca, SoHo and the Upper West Side, I am most excited to represent the individuals who are selling their homes. As a senior global real estate advisor and associate broker at Sotheby’s, I know I am able to offer my sellers the best and most considered representation in the marketplace. In particular, I am most grateful to have the opportunity to represent Alchemy Properties in the marketing and sale of one of our cities most beloved landmarks, the Woolworth Tower Residences!

Andrew Saunders
Saunders & Associates / 631.537.9482 /

Q: What are some residential property trends you are noticing right now?
A: New construction residences in all prices categories are currently the most sought after products. The trend of down-sizing among aging baby boomers who are selling larger homes in favor of smaller residences or low maintenance condos continues. We’re also observing the growing popularity of contemporary architecture.

Q: Do you have any advice you’d like to share with buyers and sellers?
A: Being opportunistic in a negotiation is critical to achieving the agenda of the participant. Timing is an essential component in Hamptons transactions. We continue to observe and advise our sellers that the first offers they receive tend to be the best offers. For buyers, being decisive with their initial offers is critical to success. The market is busy and many properties are attracting multiple bids.

Q: What are the most popular areas in the Hamptons right now?
A: Westhampton Beach area, Southampton Village, and East Hampton have experienced double digit sales percentage increases through the end of the third quarter of 2017.

Q: Please share details about some of your exciting listings.
A: Saunders & Associates is the leading Hamptons brokerage firm in connection with new multi-unit residential developments. We represent the four top developments including Gurney’s Oceanfront Residences in Montauk, the new luxury Barn & Vine homes in Bridgehampton, Harbor’s Edge water view condos in Sag Harbor and The Fields, which features 28 amenity-rich custom homes in Southampton.