The first day of spring, the holidays that coincide with it and the return of ospreys mark the beginning of the spring selling season on Shelter Island. As is the case with other second home markets, spring through autumn is traditionally the peak time to sell or purchase real estate on Shelter Island.
The first quarter of 2016, in contrast to tradition perhaps due to mild temperatures, was active with properties moving into contract and closing, a continuation of brisk activity from the 4th quarter of 2015. Many listings that had been on the market for over a year and had been viewed by many prior prospective buyers suddenly became hot tickets in spite of the cold weather and, in many instances, had multiple offers. There was little time for winter vacationing for many of us real estate agents.
A homeowner contemplating placing their property on the market might conclude that it’s a “seller’s market,” however, buyers who come to shop on Shelter Island now have easy access to market information through websites designed to track real estate listings and the prices at which they have sold. The current market is sound and solid.
There continues to be limited inventory across the board, particularly at the below $1M price category. A clean, well maintained home is a sought after commodity. Savvy sellers who do simple bathroom or kitchen updates and freshen up their curb appeal prior to putting their homes on the market reap rewards in terms of days on the market and final selling price.
In addition to the above, revisiting the survey to ensure that there are no encroachments such as neighbors’ fences (which create problems more often than most realize), updating Shelter Island Town certificates of occupancy and conducting a pre-listing inspection with a home inspector can save time, headaches and possible buyer credits at closing.
Notable sales since January 2016 have included:
- 70 Peconic Avenue, which was listed 7/14 for $3.575M, was last listed at $3.45M and sold 3/3/16 for $3.25M. The 2014, 2,950 sq. ft. traditional was on .3 sound front acre with dock and had open water views.
- 37 East Brander Parkway, which was listed 5/12 for $2.945M, was last listed at $2.795M and sold 1/21/16 for $2.4M. The 1975, 3,040 sq. ft. contemporary was on one acre with dock, waterfront pool and carriage house.
- 56 South Menantic Road, which was listed 2/15 for $1.795M, sold 2/5/16 for $1.6M. The 2001, 3,100 sq. ft. traditional was on .53 acre with gunite pool and harbor views.
- 140 North Ferry Road, which was listed 7/13 for $2.7M, was last listed at $1.795M and sold 2/3/16 for $1.6M. The 1828 creek front traditional had structures dating back to the Revolutionary War and was owned by one family during that time, with barn, dock and cottage, and was one of the Island’s historic properties.
- 2 Point Lane, which was listed 2/23/15 for $1.785M, was last listed at $1.495M and sold 2/12/16 for $1.3M. The 1991 water view contemporary on one acre was one lot from the beach and had three stories of above grade living space.
- 14 Bay Avenue sold 1/29/16 for $1.2M in a private listing/sale. Built in 1890, it had been extensively renovated recently, has views of the sound and is near Union Chapel.
- 21 Quaker Path, which was listed 3/30/15 for $1.099M, sold 2/26/16 for $950K. The 1972 “round house” with bay views on 1.56 acres had a pool, guest house and 6-car garage, and a one year roll of over $70K.
- 61 North Cartwright Road was listed at $1.075M and sold 2/5/16 for $975K. An 1858 traditional on 1 acre with 3,262 sq. ft. there are 5 bedrooms, fireplace and gazebo.
- 23 Shelterlands Path was listed 12/15 at $985K and sold 3/14/16 for $920K. The 1986 traditional on 1 acre had 2,594 sq. ft., renovated kitchen, 4 bedrooms and 2-car garage.
- 12 Behringer Lane was listed 3/13 at $749,500 and sold 2/19/16 at its last listed price of $550K, a 2,008 sq. ft. ranch on .5 acre, that is close to the beach.
Mortgage rates continue to be attractive; current 30-year fixed rate mortgages are around 4%. A recent buyer with good credit told me “with money so cheap, I want to buy another house!”
The rental market is in full swing. Smart landlords are reaching out to real estate agents to update their listings. 4 bedroom homes with pools both inland and on the water seem to be the most requested category.