Transaction Highlights, December 6

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54 Highway Behind the Pond, Village of East Hampton, $20,000,000

This sale is likely to be one of the highest priced in the Hamptons for the year. The property is located on what is considered to be one of the “best streets” in East Hampton. Highway Behind the Pond runs between Hook Pond and the Maidstone Golf Course, to the ocean.

This 1.2-acre lot is off a small private road that takes access from Highway Behind the Pond and offers expansive views of the golf course with Hook Pond and the ocean dunes in the distance. It’s an easy walk to the ocean beach.

The house currently on this property has little economic value. It is a modest contemporary built in 1969, approximately 2,500 square feet, with three bedrooms and two baths. There is a pool and gardens, but essentially this was a land sale because the house is a tear-down by the standards of the neighborhood.

From an investment perspective, this is a fine example that the best residential investments are often rather inconsequential homes on excellent lots. A relatively small and simple home, such as this one, has modest insurance, tax and maintenance costs—all of which rise significantly along with square footage and complexity. Land can appreciate but structures depreciate and are generally likely to be worth less over time unless they are truly extraordinary.

This property last sold in 1999 for $3,100,000. This sale represents a compound annual growth rate of more than 15 percent. That’s an excellent rate for any investment and probably the highest one can expect from the very best land in the Hamptons over time.

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