In the hierarchy of elite cities within the Hamptons, the village of Westhampton had ranked backside.
Far west of the Shinnecock canal (a extensively used however unofficial demarcation of what’s and isn’t “the real Hamptons;” the concept is to be “east of the canal”), behind different lower-status waterfront mansion hubs like Hampton Bays and Quogue it was thought-about hardly “a Hampton.”
But, with higher-than-ever housing costs throughout the East End this season, it’s changing into tougher and tougher for snobby South and Easthamponites to sneer.
“We have always liked it here, but when we saw its fame rise, we really appreciated what we had and decided we want a larger property where we could be year-round,” mentioned Nadine Rote, 54, the director of shops for the modern clothes boutique Palmer & Purchase, which has a Westhampton location. “It’s a town that has it all.”
With her husband John Rote, 54, an funding banker, the couple is now doubling down on the seashore village, wrapping up development on a seven-bedroom home with a pool, after having owned one other summer house on the town for a number of years.
“Westhampton has seen incredible demand in the last year as the Hamptons has become more desirable overall as a place to own a house,” mentioned Corcoran dealer Ashley Farrell, a Westhampton native. “The trend started pre-COVID when people caught on to how much time they could shave off their commute by basing themselves here versus spending another hour or more to get to East Hampton.”
The numbers inform the real story: The median house worth all through the Hamptons ballooned to $1.4 million within the fourth quarter of final yr, the very best on file and a 55% improve year-over-year, based on Douglas Elliman knowledge. It was the identical in Westhampton Beach (the toniest portion of Westhampton), the place the median sale worth was $1.2 million within the fourth quarter of 2020, a rise of 49.12% from the yr earlier than, based on Sotheby’s International Realty knowledge.
Although these costs have considerably softened within the first quarter of 2021, stock stays low and even longtime East Enders, aka multi-millionaires, have struggled to seek out an inexpensive foothold.
Compass dealer Yorgos Tsibiridis reported promoting a half dozen properties in Westhampton within the final yr, noting that in a typical yr, he usually sells only one or two.
“I would have sold more, but I lost them in bidding wars,” he mentioned. “Homes are going for the asking price or more.”
Nevertheless, you may nonetheless get “a four-bedroom house with a pool that’s walking distance from town for close to $2 million,” mentioned Farrell. “In Southampton, the price would be close to $3 million.”
But Westhampton’s relative affordability isn’t its solely enchantment. The city debuted a superbly reconstructed Main Street final May with wider sidewalks, new landscaping and road lighting.
Restaurants like Salt & Loft and Flora, an upscale American spot, have turn into coveted reservations for locals. Meanwhile, the French chef Laurent Tourondel is opening a espresso store on the finish of April on Main Street in partnership with La Colombe. In May, he can even open an outpost of his LT Burger, already a hotspot in Sag Harbor.
“I love the charm of Westhampton, and the new downtown is a big part of why I’m establishing a footprint there,” Tourondel mentioned.
Westhampton even presents a ritzy members-only escape that’s way more democratic than the East End’s infamous unique Meadow or Maidstone golf equipment.
Dubbed Dune Deck Beach Club, the membership was created in 2017 by Mike Meldman, the real estate mogul behind Discovery Land Company and Casamigos Tequila. A $1 million buy-in will get you entry to one in every of Dune Deck’s 33-suites, pool, water sports activities and a splashy beachfront restaurant.
“The beach is just as beautiful as any other in the Hamptons, and the town has incredible character with great people,” mentioned Bryan Zuriff, 52, a TV and film producer behind “Ray Donovan,” who’s a member of Dune Deck. “I think the biggest difference compared with other Hamptons towns is that it’s not see-and-be-seen.”
Newly minted Westhampton residents Nicole DeRose, 27, and her fiancée Shane Thornton, 28, agree. They closed on a three-bedroom cedar shake-shingle home with a wraparound porch and a pool at 98 Potunk Lane in March.
“We love everything about being here,” mentioned DeRose. “There’s the convenience of being so close to the city, the gorgeous beach and the low-key vibe. [It’s] a quintessential beach town.”