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The Bridgehampton Real Estate Market

By HRES Staff - January 17, 2019
Bridgehampton Real Estate Value - HRES

While clearly nothing can exactly be deemed a “bargain” in the Hamptons, many realtors and locals believe Bridgehampton is the best real estate value, by far.

The Hamptons have a well-deserved reputation for possessing a combination of raw, natural beauty, and man-made glamour, with each region offering its own unique terrain, personality and charm.  A respite from the concrete and fast pace of New York City, the Hamptons are a relatively quick getaway, with over 17 towns, villages and hamlets, all of which are either on or near the ocean.

The real estate world here is different than most markets, in that many buyers are looking for a second, or even third or fourth home.  There is less of a buying and selling urgency in such a market. Comparing and contrasting properties from one town to the next is a subtle, nuanced business.  Many realtors agree that desirability of one town over another is completely subjective.

Mala Sander, a Corcoran broker who’s based in Sag Harbor, echoes that point. “We’re not dealing with blocks of buildings where the only differential is if an apartment has a view,” she says. “Out here, one house next to another can be vastly different in terms of the quality of the land and landscape.”

An article in the New York Times explains the draw of Bridgehampton, which includes Water Mill and Sagaponack.  “Painted with bucolic views, this former whaling and farming village at the center of the South Fork is ripe with farm stands and fresh produce markets.  It’s also home to one of the South Fork’s few wineries, Channing Daughters.”

Just to the west of the main village lies Bridgehampton Commons, which provides retail staples like the Gap, Banana Republic, Kmart and also the King Kullen supermarket.  Thanks to a surge of modernism in the 1980’s, there’s a mix of architectural styles. Main Street, featuring restaurants and shops situated in houses built in the 19th and 20th centuries, is being considered for a historic district designation by the Town of Southampton. 

Route 27 in Bridgehampton is lined with popular eateries, including Pierre’s, Bobby Van’s Steakhouse, World Pie and Almond, which just opened L&W Market next door.  Popular beaches include Mecox Beach and W. Scott Cameron Beach.  The area is also home to Sayre Park, the annual site of The Hampton Classic horse show.

In an article from Newsday, July, 2018, Jason Schommer of the Corcoran Group is quoted, saying, “The overriding value of Bridgehampton is that because of the location, even in the peak of the season, you are never really more than 15 to 20 minutes from anything.  You can’t get that in any other location in the Hamptons.”

According to Curbed’s third quarter report 2018, Even though Bridgehampton’s real estate home sales volume decreased by about 14 percent, the town had the largest home sales volume, and accounted for over 22 percent of the home sales volume across the South Fork, with a total volume of $135,781,850.

North of the Highway, Bridgehampton’s Real Estate homes are scattered among farm fields and tucked into wooded areas.   Homes south of Highway 27 are closer to the ocean, and therefore more expensive per square foot.

“If people can’t get a house by the water, they go for the farm views,” says Janet Hummel, senior managing partner of Town & Country Real Estate.  “Wherever you are, you get something nice.” 

“A lot of people love the openness of Bridgehampton,” said Rylan Jacka, a broker with Prudential Douglas Elliman who recently moved there from East Hampton. “The sky seems to open up there. Its not as woodsy, you just get these amazing summer sunsets with magenta skies and tractors driving on the streets.”

Most of the 9.2-square-mile hamlet offers traditional shingle-style houses, with prices that typically range from just under $1 million for renovation projects, to as much as $40 million for grand estates, Schommer says.  South of Montauk Highway, approaching the oceanfront, “there has been some of the most superior modern architecture in the last 10 years that really takes advantage of the setting,” he adds. 

A new luxury housing development, Barn and Vine, features 37 homes on half-acre to one-acre plots that range from $3 million to more than $4 million.  Schommer says another proposed development, a 16-acre subdivision on Scuttle Hole Road, would add eight houses on one-acre lots built along a pond.

Each town has a different vibe, drawing different people.  Currently, Sag Harbor is “on fire,” says Carol Nobbs, a broker for Douglas Elliman, based in Bridgehampton. “Everyone, especially Europeans, want to be able to walk into town and eat ice cream.”

Southampton has a mix of old money, industry and media power brokers, and newer Hollywood personalities.  Southampton’s high-profile restaurants and nightclubs serve as a playground to this second- home population.  

Hollie Watman, a New York designer explains the different feeling each town has, and the beauty of Bridgehampton, in her opinion. “East Hampton is is a bit like New York’s Upper East Side.  Westhampton attracts group rentals and day-trippers who don’t want to spend their entire weekend battling the traffic on Route 27. Amagansett is remote and more down to earth.  Sag Harbor is a bit hipster leaning, but my fiancé [Robert Futterman] and I much prefer the less-scene-y Bridgehampton.  We bought our place in 2013. The houses are not built close together; ours is up on a hill, with clear views above the treetops and a serenity we wouldn’t trade for anything.”  Hollie and Robert never hear their neighbors, so whether she is working in her studio or the couple is entertaining with their kids, they have a gorgeous, private spot that has the beauty of the country, while still being a ten minute drive from the beach or town.

In one of our favorite movies, Something’s Gotta Give, (famously set on the beach in the Hamptons), Jack Nicholson, after spending kind of a magical evening with Diane Keaton turns to her and says, “You are a woman to love.”  Well, Bridgehampton is a place to love. And possibly never leave.

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