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The North Fork Market Continues to Heat Up

Brokers Report An Increase In Well-Priced Inventory
By Rachel Bosworth - July 9, 2019

Summer is hot as ever on the North Fork and the real estate market only continues to heat up. Potential buyers are on the prowl for the best deals that also suit their varying needs. Waterfronts and new construction remain in high demand, though the supply struggles to meet this need. Various communities offer a wide range of experiences. There are numerous plots of land and protected open space, denser areas with restaurants, nightlife, and other opportunities within walking distance, wineries, breweries, and farms to explore local agriculture, not to mention parks and trails to enjoy. 

In terms of the North Fork real estate market, agents are finding that inventory is scarce in lower price ranges. There is much interest in the local market, particularly for second homeowners. Thomas Uhlinger of Douglas Elliman finds there is an increase in well-priced inventory, which is especially helpful to sellers looking to move properties. Vacation buyers in particular are looking for homes that have close and easy access to the water. 

Another feature vacation buyers are looking for is homes that are turnkey. “They want to be able to use it – and rent it out, without too much effort,” explains Marie Beninati of Beninati Associates. “It’s a challenge for realtors because so many homes that offer value usually need some updating. Sometimes, a buyer misses a great opportunity to buy a home at a great value in a wonderful location because a bathroom needs updating or the house needs to be painted.”

Modern homes and new construction are sought-after property types on the North Fork. Clean lines, open floor plans, and a minimalist aesthetic appeal to the modern buyer today. An interesting factor Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty’s Cheryl Schneider finds may contribute to the style of modern homes is the influx of online and televised home shows. 

“The current generation of buyers tends to want less ‘stuff,’” Schneider says. “They are focusing on a less complicated living situation, especially for a second home. Modern design really fits this aesthetic. On the North Fork there is still a lot of interest in more traditional looking homes on the exterior, with modern, open floor plans and design inside. Older contemporary homes can still take a while to find the right buyer but a truly modern home, including mid-century modern, is very desirable.”

With modern design comes an increase in new trends. With updated kitchens being a requirement on nearly every buyer’s wish list, varying styles and amenities are of the utmost importance. North Fork Real Estate Inc.’s Kristen Rische personally loves kitchen islands, especially in her own home where there are often many cooks in the kitchen. Islands open up space for both gathering and working. Uhlinger loves major storage, subway tile backsplashes, and quartz and cement countertops. Schneider is particularly fond of color. While the sleek white and gray has become the new classic, she finds color in the kitchen to be very refreshing. 

Summer rentals are also a popular North Fork feature with many second homes also serving as an investment property. Open concept is a popular style for any use in any East End home. Being close to the water or to town is ideal for short-term renters. In the summer, of course a pool is essential. Sally Heitel of Century 21 Albertson Realty has found that clients often ask if dogs are welcome. 

In the height of the summer season, North Fork real estate agents are sharing their views on the market, current trends in home design, and what is attracting both buyers and renters to the area.

NFRES: How is the summer market going? 

MB: The summer is shaping up to be stronger than the earlier months of 2019. Interest rates seem to have a quick, almost dramatic effect on buyers. With the Fed stating they were not raising rates, activity has improved quite a bit. Inventory is limited in every price range. However, the greatest demand is at the lower price points – under $500,000.

Marie Beninati,
Beninati Associates 

NFRES: Modern homes seem to be popular among builders and buyers. Why do you think that is? 

TU: Today’s buyers’ age and tastes are dictating modern home architecture with minimalistic interiors. Modern homes incorporate open floor plans, waterfall edge center islands, gray tones, and contrasting walls. For example, a wall of stone or luxurious wood and retro furnishings. Floor-to-ceiling windows are very popular. Consumers appear to be no longer interested in the Victorian style homes with wrap around porches.

Thomas Uhlinger,
Douglas Elliman Real Estate

NFRES: Where are North Fork buyers and renters coming from?

CS: A common misconception is that the bulk of the North Fork buyers and renters are coming from New York City and Brooklyn. In fact, according to MLS data, in the last two years only about 20% of our buyers come from these areas, although we do have a very strong base of city buyers in certain locations and price ranges. About 60% come from Long Island – mostly Nassau County – and the rest are from out of state/country, the tri-state area, New England and beyond.

Cheryl Schneider,
Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty

NFRES: We see a lot of new construction. Is it still popular and is there a lot of inventory?

SH: There is still lots of interest in new construction, but definitely not much inventory. The recent new construction in Greenport Village was sold very quickly and for some of the highest prices the village has ever seen. The new houses here had kind of muted tones, like grays, black and whites, not a lot of color overall. They’re finished and simply done. Something I think is important is that with two-story homes there is a first-floor master suite. It’s something people are definitely looking for in new construction.

Sally Heitel,
Century 21 Albertson Realty

NFRES: In what price range is inventory the scarcest right now? 

KR: We have seen a swing in the market where the properties under $900,000 are in demand. The properties that are finished to today’s standards are the scarcest right now and are in high demand. Very good condition has been replaced by excellent/mint. The properties over $1 million are sitting a bit. Anything under $500,000 is always scarce.

Kristen Rische,
North Fork Real Estate Inc.

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