How Important Is Pricing?

October 4th, 2017 by Judi Desiderio


East Hampton | $10,995,000 | Web# 55470

Those of us in the industry are witness to one of the oddest phenomenons I’ve seen in my 36 years.

We are seeing homes selling for HALF of their original list price. Clearly our markets are not collapsing by any means. We are not in a recession. This is not ’87 or ’08.

So, what is going on?

Is it a handful of sellers “testing the market for their crazy price” or are some brokers over-inflating prices just to have the press write about their newly listed “highest price in America” listing? Are agents desperately pricing to “asking price” vs. “selling price” just to secure the listing? Did one stratospheric sale attempt to set a new high water mark for the entire neighborhood?

Frankly, it’s the perfect storm of all the above.

Most of the steep discounts are at the uber high end. The unfortunate fall out lies with the sellers of homes over $10M who truly would like to sell and have priced to their appraised values only to languish on the market due to an excessive amount of competition. Historically, we have never had so much inventory.

StreetEasy, Trulia and Zillow give false impression on inventory and market status. This is primarily because the East End is not MLS nor is the market monitored by a totally encompassing real estate board.

So, what does this mean?

The bottom line:

For sellers — pricing today is more important than ever, yet even with proper pricing the length of time on the market will be longer than usual due to the scales of supply outweighing that of demand in a big way.

For buyers — it’s a great time to go shopping! You are in a position to get tremendous values.

For sellers and buyers — both benefit from choosing the right professional to assist in navigating current market trends.

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Hamptons & North Fork Luxury Real Estate Specialists Celebrate Summer in East Hampton

August 2nd, 2017 by Town & Country Real Estate

“2017 Town & Country Summer Party was a grand success at East Hampton Point,” said Judi Desiderio, CEO and President of Town & Country Real Estate of the late-July 2017 event in East Hampton.  “It was wonderful to see our associates who work so hard take the time to simply enjoy each other’s company. #greatgroup!

The weather was picture perfect, classic cocktails flowed, and delish noshes provided the ideal setting to talk real estate of course.  Over 100 real estate agents from all eight offices -  Westhampton, Southampton, Bridgehampton, East Hampton & East Hampton Annex, Montauk, Southold, and Mattituck – dropped by the mid-summer soiree to mix, mingle, and discuss deals for Hamptons real estate and North Fork homes for sale in the works.

Photos by Charlie Grubb and Linda Kabot

Hamptons Real Estate Q2 Market Report: The High End Recovers

July 18th, 2017 by Judi Desiderio

The 2nd Quarter of 2017 was clearly the 3 months that the high end made a recovery rebound. The blue chips of Southampton Village, East Hampton Village and Bridgehampton (which includes Water Mill and Sagaponack) all came roaring back from the tepid 2016.

All Hamptons Markets Combined for the 2nd Quarter of 2017 saw 4 closings over $20M, where there were none in 2016 same period. Two from Southampton:

 328 Gin Lane – $31,000,000

 1510 Meadow Lane – $24,600,000

One from East Hampton and Water Mill each:

 32 Middle Lane, East Hampton – $25,000,000

 1285 Flying Point Road, Water Mill – $20,500,000

In the $10-$19,99M price range 10 homes sold in 2017 compared to 4 in 2016, a 150% jump. And 6 of the 10 closed were from the Bridgehampton, Water Mill and Sagaponack region.

Seven of the 12 markets monitored by TOWN & COUNTRY saw increases in all 3 criteria – Number of Home Sales, Total Home Sales Volume and Median Home Sales Price.

The 2nd Quarter wasn’t all rosy for certain markets. Two popular niche markets, Montauk and Shelter Island,each experienced significant pull back in all 3 criteria. In fact, statistically, the greatest declines of all of the 12 hamlets both experienced solid red across the board.

In all, the 2nd Quarter of 2017 shows just how unique each of our Hamptons markets are and how they each move independent of one another.

Water Mill | $6,495,000 | IN # 15218

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North Fork Q2 Market Report: T&C Real Estate Business Up 20%

July 18th, 2017 by Judi Desiderio

The second 3 months of 2017 were not so kind to North Fork home sales.

At our Mattituck and Southold Town & Country Real Estate offices business was up approximately 20%.

Obviously, that was not reflective of the overall market conditions. This is why statistics are so important.

Jamesport (which includes Aquebogue, Baiting Hollow and South Jamesport) was hit the hardest with 40% and 42% declines in Number of Home Sales and Total Home Sales Volume, yet the Median Home Sales Price rose a healthy 6.8%.

The greatest Number of Home Sales occurred in the Southold (which includes New Suffolk and Peconic) market with 32 closings… just 3 less than the 2nd Quarter 2016. The Total Home Sales Volume and Median Home Sales Price price rose 2.3 and 2.7% respectively.

Mattituck (which includes Laurel and Cutchogue) experienced a big bump up in Median Home Sales Price from $414,985 to $757,000 — an 82.4% jump. The only sale over $3.5M was 397 Marratooka Road, Mattituck which sold for $4,500,000.

Looking at All North Fork Markets Combined and you see a nearly 25% drop in Number of Home Sales yet the Median Home Sales Price rose 18%. This tells us inventory is way low and demand high which results in price increases.

Southold | $2,200,000 | IN# 28807

Southold | $2,200,000 | IN# 28807


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Hamptons Real Estate – A Glass Half Full

July 12th, 2017 by Judi Desiderio

Maybe I’m the eternal optimist or maybe I’ve just been doing this too long – HA!

Either way, I believe it is important to address the grim snapshot of the state of Hamptons Real Estate as described by some of my contemporaries, all for whom I have tremendous respect.

I have been reporting on East End Home Sales for 25 of the 35 years of my real estate career. During my tenure, I have seen two crashes, a few recessionary markets, and several bull markets. As they say, “The only thing constant, is change.” And change it does.

For the most part, the homes we sell are vacation homes – which frankly, are luxury items to the buyer – few are primary residences. These buyers don’t have to have what we are selling, as they can always opt to rent. The majority of our buyers work in some area of the financial markets: stocks, bonds, hedge funds, banking, etc. These particular buyers, for the most part, buy at the top end of our markets.

Definitely, there has been a strenuous pull back on the high end over the past 12-18 months due to various factors. But as with all cycles, this one, too, will come to an end, and a shift from a buyers’ market to a seller’s market will take place. We are already experiencing an uptick in showings, contracts and sales. The stock market is strong, bank stocks have rallied due to dividends, the Federal Reserve has shown confidence in our overall economy, and lending regulations are easing. All are indicative of a strong selling season.

On the high end, price adjustments are yielding some incredible bargains. There are several examples where you couldn’t buy the land, build the house, landscape, and accessorize, and pay less than the asking. So, for those value-driven buyers, the time to pounce is now.

As for the mid markets, all eight Town & Country Real Estate offices have experienced heightened sales activity. Last week, there were 82 closings on the East End and $135 million changed hands. That is a respectable statistic!

While our markets may have faced some headwinds such as the presidential election, geopolitical concerns, heightened emotions, there is change in the air. After all, the only thing constant is change. 

This Letter to the Editor originally appeared in the July 6, 2017 edition of the East Hampton Star.

First Offering: Ammon Estate, East Hampton, NY

June 8th, 2017 by Town & Country Real Estate

59 Middle Lane, Ammon estate

The 59 Middle Lane East Hampton home, owned by siblings Greg and Alexa Ammon, is up for sale for $12.7 million with Judi Desiderio of Town & Country Real Estate.

“Having been the broker for the Ammon family for nearly 15 years, we have rented the home to several families with children, all of whom have throughly enjoyed the beautiful home and outstanding sprawling grounds, for some two years running," said Desiderio. "A few tenants were interested in purchasing the property but the family wasn't ready to let it go."

"Alexa and I are now ready to sell our childhood home as we are both moving forward with exciting new ventures," said Greg Ammon. "We truly hope our family home finds the right buyer who can enjoy the many happy memories we had here and appreciate the true beauty that it has to offer."

Inspired by these memories, Greg founded Big Flower, a Hamptons lifestyle brand with a flagship in East Hampton and expansion plans in the fall. Alexa recently graduated from USC School of Cinematic Arts and is currently pursuing a career in film and photography.

The family's decision to sell presents a very rare opportunity to own the famed East Hampton estate. With Katie Couric around the corner and Jerry Seinfeld a stone's throw away, the new owners will be in fabulous company.

National Homes Sales Are Rocking!

May 17th, 2017 by Judi Desiderio

East Hampton | $17,750,000 | IN # 42068

The National Association of Realtors has released the first quarter home sales report for 2017 and the numbers are impressive.

Total existing-home sales rose 1.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.64 million.  This was the highest level since the first quarter of 2007, ten years ago!  Second only to 2005.

First time home buyers are back in the game. The national median home sale price climbed nearly 7% year over year. Reports show the driver, demographically, are millennials. These young adults are some of the oldest age groups to pull the trigger on the American Dream.  Failure to launch, The Great Recession, employment issues, and outrageous prices followed by the housing market crash all contributed. 

Although mortgage rates and prices are on the rise, there seems to be no pull back in sight. This is great news for the overall economy as everyone knows when homes sell, jobs are created. In fact, after the Great Recession, I predicted the housing market would pull the country out of the troth… and it did!

Furthermore, as is the case most times, the East End markets moved conversely to National trends. 

To view the Hampton Home Sales Reports visit

Town & Country Hamptons 1st Quarter 2017 Home Sales Report

April 18th, 2017 by Judi Desiderio

WARNING: Before you delve deep into the extraordinary amount of negative red figures, keep in mind, all Real Estate Reports are somewhat a look in the rearview mirror. Recorded data that is analyzed reflects closings that went into contract an average of 60 days prior.

That said, Q1 home sales clearly show a tremendous pull back on the high end. TOWN & COUNTRY monitors eight separate price ranges in 12 different markets. Across the board, none of the hamlets experienced an increase in the $10m-19.99m or $20m and up price ranges. In All Hamptons Markets Combined, these two price categories declined by -83% and -67%, respectively.

The only beacon in this report would be Southampton Village, where the Total Home Sales Volume jumped a whopping +93.6%, while the Median Home Sales Price shot up 87.5% to $3.75m in 2017 from $2m in 2016. In fact, the only sale in the $20m and up category was 7 Old Town Road in Southampton Village for $26,000,000. 

While nine of the 12 markets that TOWN & COUNTRY analyzes experienced declines in both Number of Home Sales and Total Home Sales Volume criteria, the Median Home Sales Price rose in 10 of the 12 markets. This demonstrates the resiliency of East End dirt, meaning that while the sales activity may ebb with factors such as the movement of stocks and bonds, the inherent value of our real estate has true, long-term staying power.

Most of this data reflects Q4 2016 sales activity, which was apparently weak for many sectors. Just as I predicted these stats would be sad for Q1 2017, I predict that the Second Quarter will be better for most markets and price ranges, while the high end remains against headwinds.

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Town & Country North Fork 1st Quarter 2017 Home Sales Report

April 18th, 2017 by Judi Desiderio

The North Fork markets fared well, considering – better than its cousin, the Hamptons.

Two of the four markets monitored by TOWN & COUNTRY experienced increases in both the Number of Home Sales as well as the Total Home Sales Volume. Orient, (which includes East Marion and Greenport) had a great quarter with increases of +26% in both Number of Home Sales and +23% in Total Home Sales Volume. Oddly,the Median Home Sales Price dipped -7% to $487,500. Jamesport, (which includes Aquebogue, Baiting Hollow and South Jamesport) was in the black for the first three months of 2017. Its Number of Home Sales increased +18%, while the Total Home Sales Volume rose +21.5%, and the Median Home Sales Price shot up nearly +10%.

The two markets experiencing some pain during the first quarter were Mattituck (which includes Laurel and Cutchogue) and Southold (which includes New Suffolk and Peconic). Southold decreased -36% in the Number of Home Sales and 26% in Total Home Sales Volume, while Mattituck dropped 39% in the Number of Home Sales and 24% in Total Home Sales Volume. The shining sparkle for both markets, though, is they logged in the two highest sales in the price range of $2m-3.49m: 5909 Lloyds Lane, Mattituck at $2.95m and 1350 Paradise Point Road, Southold at $3.25m.

Looking at All North Fork Markets Combined, you can see that while there may have been a pull back of -18% in the Number of Home Sales, there is a clear increase in the higher price categories. TOWN & COUNTRY monitors six specific price categories, and Q1 2017 saw increases in $1m-$1.99m of +17% and double the number of closings in the $2m-$3.49m category.

This first quarter home sales report is proof that while TOWN & COUNTRY is experiencing heightened activity in our offices, the market in general did not. I believe low inventory is one of our greatest challenges for all North Fork markets. We have the buyers and the interest. Now we need the listings.

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US Home Prices Rose 5.9%

March 30th, 2017 by Judi Desiderio

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index reported a 5.9% rise in home sales prices nationwide for January, year over year. That increase is the greatest since mid-2014. The 10-city index rose 5.1% January 2016 to January 2017 while the 20-city index gained 5.7%.  There are several contributing factors. The scales of supply and demand, dictate the price of anything from art to homes.

At this time in history job growth among the large demographic of 30-something-year-olds contributes to the demand side.  Economists have logged an important concern on that front that wages, rising at 2.5%, and home sale prices, increasing 5.7%, will eventually cause a disconnect.

On the other side of the scales we have supply.  According to the National Association of Realtors inventory in December hit the lowest level since they began tracking this data in 1999.  The number of homes for sale in January 2017 was over 7% less than the number of homes for sale same month last year.

How do these national statistics compare with our niche markets? Frankly, they don’t.  It is not uncommon to see our markets move inversely to national trends.  Because our markets are so diverse and so specialized, they don’t always move in tandem.  Right now, there are segments of our markets that desperately need inventory and others that are, well, flooded.

These vast differences are precisely why Town & Country Real Estate has always broken down our Home Sales Reports into individual markets and different price ranges within those markets in the Hamptons and across the North Fork. 

To view our published market reports visit weigh in on your market concepts.