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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

Three high-priced Hamptons houses sell

Three prized, high-end properties in Southampton have gone into contract or been sold in the last week or so, a distant world from the rank-and-file real estate markets.

A contract went late last month to an eight-bedroom, 6-acre oceanfront estate that's got an asking price of $65 million and more square footage than about six average-sized homes put together -- and that's just the manor house, not the staff and guest quarters. The identity of the buyer for the estate on Gin Lane, listed by Sotheby's International Realty, is hush hush: The word in real estate circles is it's an Austrian. But the place once belonged to producer Marty Richards and wife, Mary Lea Johnson, granddaughter of the founder of Johnson & Johnson Company.

Then there's a Sagaponack modern home dreamed up by architect Philip Johnson, whose two-story design focuses on the oceanfront view with floor-to-ceiling glass walls and a balcony. A Wall Street executive closed on the eight-bedroom home Feb. 29 for $22 million, about a 12 percent discount from the original asking price of $25 million for 3.75-acre property, listed by Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate. The seller was William Spier, chairman of the board at Empire Resources Inc., a distributor of semi-finished aluminum products.

A third oceanfront dwelling, on Meadow Lane, is in contract for about $18 million, says one source, and that's a 30 percent discount from the $26 million listed with Sotheby's International Realty. The five-bedroom, five-bath home was done by architect Norman Jaffe and is owned by Amy and Van Greenfield. She's a managing partner in a law firm and he, the founder of several money management firms who settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission three years ago without admitting wrongdoing after being accused of falsely claiming to own $400 million in WorldCom Inc. bonds. While the luxury market has not been pummeled by the subprime crisis, the latest action in Southampton isn't a sign of the boom market returning, one veteran agent said.

"The market could be quiet for quite some time, then all of a sudden there's a flurry of activity with two or three sales happening within the month of each other," said Paul Brennan, regional director of the Hamptons for Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate. "I tell my brokers all the time, 'Don't quit before the miracle happens.' "

A few years ago during the boom market, biddings wars started more frequently than now, when expensive properties sit on the market longer or sell for less. "They're not flying off the shelf," Brennan said. "There's not the frenzied appreciation of the prior market."

Suffolk Research Service released a report this week saying East End home prices last year peaked at $790,000 in the September-to-November period and then dropped 14 percent to $680,000 during last November to January this year. For the tony East Hampton, the median closing price fell to six figures for the first time in a year, to $975,000 for the months of November to January.

In its most recent report, the Miller Samuel appraisal firm, which tracks Hamptons and North Fork prices, calculated a smaller 2 percent drop from the second to third quarter last year, from $900,000 to $882,000.

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