As we head into the July 4th holiday weekend, most everyone I cross paths with has declared near independence from a life as we knew it behind doors, masks, slathered in hand sanitizer, with an overriding fear of possible illness or worse…to one of fresh air, reacquainting ourselves with friends and family that seemed long lost, physically distant. On 6/24/21, Governor Cuomo lifted most of the emergency regulations which NYS licensed real estate agents had to adhere to which included, among other things, disinfecting a house after showings and having all who enter a premises sign a COVID-19 disclosure. Although the prospect of possible illness still exists, it is with an immense sigh of relief that those of us in the real estate sales profession are now able to connect with our clientele and see the smiles that have lain covered under masks for the last year.
As customers and clients become vaccinated, they have begun to venture out into the world in cars, trains and planes, no longer a captive audience in the tri-state area available to view real estate at a moment’s notice. In contrast to 2020, this year the weekends of the Kentucky Derby, Mothers Day, the weekend preceding tax deadline, and the 10K Race were all relatively quiet in terms of tours, which has traditionally been the case in years past. Many people are striving with their employers to work remotely long term, others are hoping to continue schooling their children on the East End. As routines change, so does real estate. There continues to be limited inventory; Indeed, over the last 25+ years, there has not been a glut of listings on the market. Some homes with a unique twist might still take longer to sell, and customers in many cases will still wait years for the right property. Many of those same customers are still shopping and have yet to find the house they want while others, new to the market, have done a deep dive and bought the first property that checked off a few boxes. Many listings, some of which have been on the market for over a year, have had multiple offers. There are many properties in contract which, once sold and closed, will underscore the strength of the Shelter Island real estate market.
Here are a selection of sales from April until the present:
- 108 Ram Island Drive, the Ram’s Head Inn, a hotel on 4.3 acres sold 3/15/21 for $7.59M
- 30 Little Ram Island Drive, a traditional with dock, tennis and pool on 1.82 acres, listed 11/18/20 for $5.25M, sold 4/21/21 for $4.9M
- 56 West Neck Road, an expanded 1890 farmhouse on 1.15 acres with pool, listed 11/2/20 for $3.25M, sold 4/14/21 for $3.1M
- 12 Peconic Avenue, a 4 bedroom waterfront with pool listed at $2.995M on 4/1/21, sold 4/29/21 for $3.5M
- 3 Bluff Avenue – an 1895 waterview Victorian with pool, sold 6/4/21 for $2.575M
- 37 Tuthill Drive – a 2,100 sq. ft. waterview on 1.35 acres with pool, listed 10/31/20 for $2.2M, sold 6/25/21 for $2.1M
- 8 Osprey Lane, listed 7/8/19 for $2,050,000, sold 4/30/21 for $2.05M
- 33 Country Club Drive – an expanded ranch on one acre with pool, listed 1/5/21 for $1.999M, sold 5/7/21 for $1.88M
- 7 Spring Garden Avenue, an 1872 Victorian, listed 10/20/20 for $1.525M, sold 5/18/21 for $1.45M
- 25 Lakeview Drive, a 4-bedroom traditional with pool on 1.37 acres, list for $1.495M on 1/13/21 sold on 5/18/21 for $1.4M
- 4 Crescent Way, a 3 bedroom ranch with pool, listed at $1.395M, sold 4/16/21 for $1.39M
- 47 New York Avenue – a 3,359 sq. ft. 1896 built traditional on .54 acres listed 9/29/20 sold 5/28/21 for $1.358M
- 8 Hay Beach Road, a ranch with resort style pool, listed 8/1/20 for $1.375M, sold 5/4/21 for $1.335M
- 32 South Midway Road, a 1954 4-level home on .12 acres listed 8/15/19 sold 5/16/21 for $900K
The rental market started off the springtime with a bang, with strong prices across the board. In recent weeks, new rental properties have come to the market and have been leased almost immediately, often at pre pandemic prices. Many landlords are waiting to see what prospective tenants’ habits will be before pricing for the post Labor Day market.
Headed into the July 4th weekend, I cannot help but think of the Patriots who lived on Shelter Island during the American Revolution, and who were dedicated to our country’s freedom. I learned so many fascinating historical facts while researching my listing, “Kemah” built in 1750 and located at 81-82 South Midway Road; After the Battle of Long Island in 1776, the British occupied Shelter Island under martial law, and Obadiah Havens, who lived at “Kemah” and was a member of the Provincial Government, and 1st Lieutenant in the 8th Company, 3rd Regiment of Foot in the Suffolk County Militia fled to Connecticut to continue his work.
As we come out of the pandemic, I walk the saltwater shoreline along the meadow at Kemah and look to the etched hills of Bridgehampton. It is easy to see how its natural beauty inspired those who lived here before us. I feel hope and I am positive about the future, the way the Patriots who lived on Shelter Island must have felt during those difficult days – and I feel gratitude for the health of those I know, the science that has brought us here, the goodness I see in those I meet, and for our cherished little island.