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Paul Brennan

Paul Brennan
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker

2488 Main Street
Bridgehampton, NY 11932
Office: 631.537.4144
Mobile: 631.235.9611

2987 Montauk Highway
Sagaponack, NY 11962
Office: 631.537.4144
Mobile: 631.381.2887
Fax: 631.537.9104

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In the News

List Gives Hamptons the High Hat

$18 million sale in Sagaponack doesn’t make the Forbes cut

By Jennifer Landes(12/28/2006) Having some of the most expensive ZIP codes in the country was not enough to get the Hamptons onto the Forbes magazine top-10 list of priciest house sales in 2006.

Sagaponack, named the most expensive ZIP code in the spring based on its 2005 median sales price of $2.8 million, had a high sale of $18.3 million, but the Forbes list bottomed out with the actor Kevin Costner’s purchase of digs near Santa Barbara, Calif., for $28 million.

South Fork real estate brokers conceded that the market in general has slowed, but said the Hamptons were also a casualty of the calendar year.

James McLauchlen of James R. McLauchlen Real Estate in Southampton, who is both a broker and an appraiser, said last week that three sales closed at the end of 2005 that would have easily made the list. He named a $43 million sale in East Hampton on Dec. 21, 2005, and two Water Mill sales in November and December of that year, both of which were around $35 million. The Forbes list had an average price of $40 million.

In the course of a two-to-three-year period, “we’ll get our share,” said Stuart Epstein, the owner and president of Devlin-McNiff in East Hampton.

Paul Brennan, the Hamptons regional manager for Prudential Douglas Elliman, said after a “heated-up period there is a cooling-off period that happens.” Although many analysts had prognosticated “gloom and doom, it never really happened here.”

Mr. McLauchlen noted that the “tempo of the market had changed,” which led to a flattening or slight drop. In East Hampton Village, for example, he said that 115 properties had changed hands in 2004. In 2005 the number reached 125 sales or trades. This year, only 65 properties were exchanged. These figures include both vacant and developed properties.

What may have happened, however, was a general cooling that could have taken place because “those with money don’t want to be the last one who paid the most” for a property here, Mr. Brennan said. When the market is hot, such considerations do not matter, but when things are slower even the very rich, who in this area have often made their money by shrewd investing, do not want to appear foolish.

According to Mr. Brennan, the market will pick up again when investors perceive that the value here has not kept pace with the rest of the national luxury market. Then, the Hamptons will seem like a relative bargain and the pent-up demand of those waiting on the sidelines will drive up sales and prices again. “Next year will be a big year,” he predicted.

At least one brokerage owner is happy that the Hamptons were excluded this year: Mr. Epstein said he was relieved. Although a lot of attention gets focused on the “insanely expensive properties” on the South Fork, he said those are actually an “infinitesimally small part of what goes on out here. . . . This is a great community of nice people, a broad spectrum of types, really.”

The Forbes article mentioned that the rumored sale of the East Hampton property of Adelaide de Menil for $90 million would have made the list, but it was not confirmed by property records. The list was compiled using published reports, interviews with real estate brokers, and public records.

Another sale that has not been confirmed, of the Andy Warhol estate in Montauk to Mickey Drexler, the chief executive officer of the clothing retailer J. Crew, might not have made the list even if it were official. Although the property, called Eothen, was once listed for as much as $50 million, Mr. Brennan said he thought the price was about $27 million.

The most expensive sale in the United States took place in Alpine, N.J., an enclave of business executives and media types across from Manhattan in Bergen County. The property was Henry Clay Frick II’s 63-acre estate, with a 10,000-square-foot mansion. It sold to Richard Kurtz, a real estate investor, for $58 million.

Other properties that made the list were in New York City, Florida, and Colorado.

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