Archive for September, 2013

July Home Sales Report

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index for July was just released!


Nationwide, existing home sales rose over 12% in July 2013 Annually.


New Home builders, such as KB Homes & Lennar Homes, reported separately, showed surges in the average price of their newly built homes by 23% & 16% respectively. This could be largely tied to the slim inventory that exists today.


As we’ve discussed on many occasions, price increases are due to increased demand and decreased supply – elementary economics. Demand has been the driver in this current home sale market.


Case-Shiller reported a deceleration in the July Report from their prior report – obviously a result of the rapid rise in interest rates – but the year over year gain remains strong and is expected to continue.


Town and Country Home Sales Reports for the Hamptons and North Fork are published quarterly. We expect favorable reports relative to the criteria T&C monitors in the various markets. 


You can view all regional Home Sales Reports at



Agents: How To Develop a Website That Gets Thousands of Visitors

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

If you are a real estate agent there is a very good chance you have a Website. It is an absolute necessity in this business. You either purchased one from one of the Website companies, had one professionally designed, or have one provided by your company. No matter what the appearance or purchase price, your number one problem is getting anyone to look at it. And even if someone does visit your Website, is there really a compelling reason to come back?

Let's address the first problem – Traffic. "Build it and they will come" does not work. You have to resort to buying keywords or advertising, paying a SEO company big bucks, or spend your entire day online mastering every trick on the Net. But now you have created another problem, either a high monthly expense or so much allotted time there is little left for you core business – real estate sales. Make no mistake, the minute you quit spending money or massive online time, your traffic will drop off.

Now the second problem – Compelling content. Even if you solve the traffic problem, there is no reason to come back. How many times can a visitor read your bio. It doesn't matter how many whistles and bells you have on your site, they're not going to come back. Heck, you don't even go there anymore.

It is our opinion at Realty Times that you are the exerts. Most of the advice that consumers need and want, you possess. The ins and outs of why a home should be purchased – you know it. The announcements that are important to consumers (you know those articles that are in every weekend real estate section) you are already writing them. Share all of these with our readers. 

Free publicity – not bad. However, we were discussing traffic and compelling content.

Here comes the traffic part. When you write or post an article on Realty Times and one of our readers clicks on it, they will then go directly to the article on your my Realty Times. All of your contact information is there – All. Now after this reader finishes your killer article. they will see all of the other articles written by the Realty Times writers. Make no mistake, we have the best writers in the business. All of these articles are on your my Realty Times, so they also display all of your contact info. It is important to know this – no other agents articles are on your version of my Realty Times.

All of your articles are indexed by the search engines so they will continue to receive traffic after they have fallen off the front page of Realty Times. We even have a place where readers can sign up for your news. Your news is defined as all consumer news published by Realty Times and those articles you publish.

So, the more you share your advice with consumers, write about your listings, and announce your accomplishments, the more traffic you will get. 

Traffic solved. Compelling content solved. PR solved. Did we say this is free?

Good luck, good writing, and good traffic. 




Written by Realty Times on Thursday, 19 September 2013 15:12





Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Members of Town & Country’s commercial division met for a true ‘power lunch’ this week at The Soundview Inn & Restaurant – one of our high profile commercial exclusives. Spearheaded by T&C Director of Commercial Sales Force, Hal Zwick the group discussed the present state of each Hamlet’s core business district in both leasing & sales, as well as the projections for the future.
The lunch was tasty as well as informative. The Soundview Inn is a unique opportunity like no other on the North Fork. Hal Zwick is the Exclusive Listing Associate, has more information for any qualified potential buyers.
Members in attendance include Hal Zwick, Judi Desiderio, Nicholas Planamento, Joan Bischoff, Rich Lennon, John Reale. Other members of T&C’s commercial division that were unable to attend are seen here in our company photo of the Commercial Division include John Wines, Bill Wines, Theresa Eurell, Jim Arnold, and Stacey Barnds. All Town & Country Associates have access to all commercial listing information and many, other than the Commercial Division, have successfully consummated several commercial transactions. The formal division is simply another means of servicing our diverse clientele.
Town & Country lists, sells and leases more East End commercial real estate than any other firm.


Thursday, September 12th, 2013

The Peconic Land Trust recently said they would consider selling 14 acres on Highland Terrace in Bridgehampton if Southampton Town would buy the development rights with CPF money. This has created quite a brew ha ha amongst our local preservation community. The property in question was donated to the South Fork Land Foundation- which is now a subsidiary of the Peconic Land Trust back in the 1970’s. John v. Halsey, who founded the Peconic Land Trust and presides over the trust to date, has made this proposal with a vision for greater good.
John’s intention is to use the money from the sale of the 14 acres to purchase 60-100 acres of active farm land.
In concept, it seems a home run—swap 14 acres for up to 100 acres—but the mechanism to do so has divided the preservationists primarily because of the need for the funding of same via CPF money. This does raise an eyebrow.
Back in 1998 the Peconic Bay Regional Community Preservation Fund was born. CPF as we refer to it is funded by a 2% tax on buyers of real property, or real estate. The 5 eastern townships benefited  by the protection of over 10,000 acres in 15 years while amassing $842,000,000.
That’s an incredible accomplishment that all of us have benefitted from.
Ironically, the public at times, confuses the Peconic Land Trust with the Peconic Bay Regional Community Preservation Fund. Buyers think they have given to the Peconic Land Trust when they shell out all that money at closing.
There are 4 primary parties directly responsible for protecting the beauty and heritage of the East End. The first are the municipalities. The local comprehensive up zonings, which occurred twice during my 3 decades in the industry, helped by creating open space regulations, water recharge districts, scenic easements along roadways, agricultural overlay districts and so much more, before the last of all subdividable property was improved. Secondly, the Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund. Third The Peconic Land Trust and fourth the Nature Conservancy. Without the efforts of these entities the East End would look like every other over developed area. Thanks to them, any visitor clearly feels the farming heritage, the sea and the dark skies. 
Personally, I see these entities as preserving in different ways. The Peconic Land Trust has done a remarkable job of enabling all of us to step back in time and enjoy life on the East End as settlers did generations ago. Have you been to Bridge Gardens in Bridgehampton, or Quail Hill Farm in East Hampton or the Shellfisher on the North Fork… all remarkable and different, places you can go to reflect on where we came from.
The CPF money has protected corridors of farm land and taken special sites off the market forever so that we may enjoy nature at every turn.
The Nature Conservancy has taken their mission to places far beyond the immediate East End with an eye on preserving our natural resources.
And the municipalities… well their contribution is both seen and hidden in more places than you can imagine
Thank you all!
This is an ideal opportunity to take the time in a collaborative effort to become of one mind for the good of all the public.
There is a common thread and there is a resolution.