For more than a century, New York’s Hamptons, a group of villages and hamlets on the East End of Long Island, have been the summer sanctuary of choice for Manhattan’s rich and famous.
Over the years, as they fled the sweltering city, they transformed the area in the South Fork from modest potato farms to grand estates known the world over. These days, the Hamptons are a year-round destination for an elite international set of buyers, many of whom are multimillionaires, billionaires, and celebrities.
“There are very few places that have the beaches we have,” says Harald Grant, a senior global real estate advisor for Sotheby’s International Realty, Southampton Brokerage, who has covered the Hamptons since 1987, when Sotheby’s opened an office there. “They are wide and clean, and the waters are pristine.”
The diversity of the Hamptons also is part of the allure: Each village and hamlet has a different personality. Here are four “A-plus locations” that Grant says convey the diversity of the celebrated seaside resort.
One of the oldest and largest communities in the Hamptons, Southampton Village historically has been home to a host of prominent families, including the Fords, the DuPonts, and the Vanderbilts.
“The properties in Southampton are old-world and well-groomed,” Grant says. The most prestigious properties are located in three areas—the Estate Section and the oceanfront roads of Gin Lane and Meadow Lane.
In the Estate Section, comprised of grand estates and historic houses that are not on the ocean, properties typically are one to five acres and generally command $5 million to $25 million, Grant says.
The oceanfront roads of Gin Lane and Meadow Lane, which has been dubbed Billionaire Lane, are the most expensive in the village. Prices start at $20 million, Grant says, adding that waterside properties are the most expensive.
Grant says properties in Meadow Lane, Gin Lane, and the Estate Section typically are two acres.
“This is a newer area of Southampton,” he says. “Meadow Lane started as a dirt road, so most of the houses are in the modern style—glass and concrete and metal—and the older ones are being torn down.”
On Gin Lane, he says, properties typically sell for $30 million to $100 million. “Most of the properties are two acres,” he says, “and there are lots of historic homes from the 1930s that cannot be altered.”