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Hamptons Highlights

Hamptons Highlights

A Tour Through Some Of The Area’s Most Desirable Destinations

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.

SOUTHAMPTON VILLAGE

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.”

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EAST HAMPTON VILLAGE

East Hampton Village, which has become Hollywood East, is the place to be and be seen without attracting attention.

“It’s upbeat, there’s more nightlife and action, there’s a lot going on,” Grant says. Through the years, it has been home to a number of celebrities, including Paul McCartney, Martha Stewart, and Jerry Seinfeld.

Like Southampton Village, the exclusivity is concentrated in three areas: the Estate Section, Further Lane, and Lily Pond Lane.

He notes that the Estate Section and Lily Pond Lane feature estates from the 1920s and 1930s, while Further Lane has newer residences in a more modern style. Prices in the three areas, he adds, are the same as they are for their counterparts in Southampton Village, typically $5 million to $25 million, for properties of equivalent sizes.

The Hook Windmill in East Hampton. An estate in Southampton, above, is set on five acres.
The Hook Windmill in East Hampton. An state in Southampton, above, is set on five acres

SAGAPONACK

Located between Southampton and East Hampton, Sagaponack, which became its own village in 2005, has retained its rural, country feel despite its popularity. “It’s close to everything. It’s low-key; it’s all about getting home and staying at home,” Grant says, adding that its agrarian character will remain largely unchanged because of strict building restrictions.

The properties—typically two acres—are priced similarly to ones of the same size in Southampton and East Hampton villages, Grant says. He notes that the most desirable and exclusive properties are off Daniels Lane.

SAG HARBOR

An old whaling village that retains much of its original low-key architecture and charm, Sag Harbor, which is about five miles north of Sagaponack on Gardiners Bay, is another prime Hamptons hot spot.

Prices start at $2 million to $3 million, according to Grant, who adds that typically buyers pay $5 million to $6 million for a half-acre property. “Prices have increased dramatically,” he says, “but there’s not much land. It’s more urbanized than other areas of the Hamptons.”

Most of the houses, Grant says, are 18th-century clapboards, what he calls traditional Hamptons style. “The area is understated,” he says. “It’s great for boating.” The heart of the village and Madison Street are considered prime addresses, according to Grant.

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