Waterfront properties are key to the health of the real estate market. As alternatives to the ocean increase in popularity, all eyes are on the ponds and bays of the East End.
On Fort Pond Bay in Montauk is the cliffside home at 70 Kettle Hole Road, listed for $5.1 million by Halstead’s JT Thomas.
Ultra-high-end waterfront luxury in the Hamptons used to mean two things: south of the highway and close to the ocean. But while the Atlantic will never lose its majestic appeal, other local waters have ascended to the peak of desirability as well. Whether that’s due to their quieter energy or their more varied ecosystems, alternative Hamptons waterfronts—calm bays and sequestered ponds—have increased in value.
“We’ve definitely seen an acceleration in interest in the last five years,” says Mala Sander, an agent at Corcoran (155 Main St., Sag Harbor; 631-899-0108), named one of the top agents in the Hamptons by The Wall Street Journal. “It’s not just pretty to look at, but it’s totally usable if you’re a boater or a fisherman.”
According to Sander, you can get a lot more for your money when you look beyond the ocean. “You’re talking about $5 million an acre with no structure on it on the bay,” she says. “On the ocean, an acre is easily double that.”
But Gary DePersia, an associate broker with Corcoran (51 Main St., East Hampton, 631-899-0215) for 20 years, points out that prices are catching up. “There are so many other reasons to be in the Hamptons,” he says. “For some people, their daily life doesn’t revolve around the ocean.”
With a pool overlooking Westhampton Beach’s Moniebogue Bay, this home was just sold by Corcoran’s Mala Sander.
He’s found that the incredible sunsets on the north side of the South Fork are extremely appealing to people, as is the ability to have a dock. DePersia adds that he made the biggest sale of non-ocean waterfront real estate back in 2011, when he sold 55 acres on Tyndal Point in North Haven for $36 million. The property, which boasted 3,000 feet of waterfront, had three relatively modest houses on it.
As new waterfront becomes more appealing, it sometimes means more teardowns. “People want to build houses commensurate with the property,” says DePersia. “If they’re paying $30 million for a piece of property, they want a house that matches that.” JT Thomas of Halstead Property (3 N. Main St., East Hampton, 631-771-5327) is currently listing a house on Fort Pond Bay in Montauk that has all the authority of an oceanfront home, sitting on a bluff overlooking a wide expanse of distant blue water.
“What sets this home apart is the ever-changing landscape,” he says. “Slight changes in the weather, the moving angle of the sun, or the direction of the waves play a subtle role in your ability to see Gardiners Island, Plum Island, and all the way to Block Island Sound, with Fishers Island and the Connecticut coastline in the distance. A view like that never looks exactly the same.”
The double-height living room and water views of 70 Kettle Hole Road in Montauk.
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20 UNION STREET, SAG HARBOR VILLAGE
Once the summer White House of President Chester A. Arthur, this rental property ($180,000 for August through Labor Day; $480,000 for the year) retains its picturesque appeal while boasting 21st-century amenities, like a heated gunite pool and a Sonos audio system. The 5,900-square-foot, three-story mansion also features six bedrooms, four and a half baths, a library, a finished basement, immaculate gardens, and several fireplaces. This home, says Douglas Elliman’s Michaela Keszler, offers the “best location in town, still quiet and very private”—a perfect seasonal getaway whether you’re a busy Manhattanite or a head of state. 70 Jobs Ln., Southampton, 631-204-2743
500 OLD TOWN ROAD, SOUTHAMPTON
Cody Vichinsky is a man on a mission. His firm, Bespoke Real Estate, is on the hunt to find the perfect client for this perfect listing. “500 Old Town Road is the only new-construction estate in the Gin Lane district of Southampton at this price point,” says Vichinsky. “The property’s double water views of Old Town Pond and the ocean—while being just three houses up from the beach—add to the allure and the rarity of this magnificent estate.” 903 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill, 631-500-9030