Business: Beacon Opens for 21st Season, Bumpy Ride for Real Estate

Inside Beacon in Sag Harbor. Jason Penney photo

Beacon Opens Doors for 21st Season

Beloved Beacon classics will return for the Sag Harbor restaurant’s 21st season — kicking off Wednesday, May 15 — including steamed mussels “Beacon Style” with garlic, white wine, lemon-thyme, cream and tomatoes; crispy Portobello with roasted peppers, smoked mozzarella and a lemon-caper butter; and crispy fish tacos with salsa verde, pepper jack cheese and tomato emulsion.

But get ready for a selection of new menu items from executive chef Sam McCleland.

Starters include tuna tartare, salmon rillette, spring pea and caramelized carrots, and pork belly pretzel buns, ranging from $16 to $18 each.

For an entrée, choose between oven-roasted chicken with braised cipollini onions, julienne carrots, smoked bacon-pecorino risotto and sauce Robert; grilled Scottish salmon with black beluga lentils, sautéed greens and tzatziki; sesame crusted tuna with soba noodles, Napa cabbage-Jicama slaw and an Asian glaze; a grain bowl with kale, chickpeas, baby carrots, bulgar and avocado-tahini dressing; grilled sirloin burger with pommes frites; and grilled prime New York strip steak with baby arugula salad, pommes frites and Boursin bacon butter.

The Beacon is located at 8 West Water Street in Sag Harbor, and dinner will begin at 5:30 p.m. leading up to Memorial Day Weekend. For more information, contact The Beacon at (631) 725-7088 or visit

Highs and Lows: Bumpy Ride for East End’s First Quarter 

The first three months of the 2019 real estate market were like a day at the beach — but not without some rough seas, according to Judi Desiderio, chief executive officer of Town and Country Real Estate.

Year to year, the comparison was, for the most part, calm, she explained. Only 6% fewer homes traded hands, but the total home sales volume dropped 13% — largely due to four sales over $20 million in 2018, and zero in 2019. However, the $10 million to $19.9 million had three more home sales, representing a 150% increase from last year, she said.

“Montauk was the Big Kahuna,” she said, “with an amazing 82% increase in the number of home sales, and 118% blast in total home sales volume — both statistical high water marks for the First Quarter Town & Country Real Estate Home Sales Report,” she said.

Montauk’s median home sales rose 43%, from $995,000 to just over $1.4 million, but that wasn’t the highest high tide. Amagansett’s median home sales price rose 26%, with 29% fewer homes sold, resulting in a 31% less total home sales volume.

Looking east, East Hampton Village experienced the greatest statistical drop in median home sales for the quarter, among the 12 markets monitored by Town & Country Real Estate. But in Southampton Village, median home sales price spiked 68%, from $1.6 million to $2.7 million.

“Truth be told, prior Town & Country Real Estate Quarterly Reports show Southampton Village is simply back to normal levels — 2018 was not in line with what that village ordinarily closes,” Desiderio said. “Staying with Southampton Village, we see half as many homes traded — only eight for the entire quarter, and the total home sales volume sank 68% to only $23 million, a weak quarter for Southampton Village.”

Bridgehampton had six less home sales and saw a 29% drop in total home sales volume, while Shelter Island’s total home sales volume rose 55%, with 38% more homes selling in the first three months of the year.

Sag Harbor Village experienced a whopping 300% increase in the $2 million to $3.49 million range, resulting in a 42% leap in total home sales volume, and Hampton Bays saw an uptick in median home sales price from$450,000 to $510,000.

Westhampton — which includes Remsenburg, Westhampton Beach, East Quogue, Quogue, and Quiogue — had gains in all three categories monitored by Town & Country: 17% more homes trading hands, 16% greater total home sales volume, and a 2.5% higher median home sales price.

On the North Fork, there is more black than red on the Town & Country charts, with three of the four monitored markets showing median home sales of $700,000 for the first time — a “real dazzling statistic,” Desiderio said.

“This further proves, as we have been saying, the needle is cranking up on this beautiful peninsula,” Desiderio said. “Looking at all North Fork markets combined, and it is crystal clear, there is more activity on the high end with increases of 9% in the $1 million to $1.99 million, and a 50% increase in the $2 million to $3.49 million — both pushing up the median home sales price for the North Fork for first quarter 2019 by 6.44% and total home sales volume by 8%.”

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Douglas Elliman Releases First Quarter Numbers

Across the East End, the sub-million-dollar market recently saw its second highest sales share in five years, according to the Douglas Elliman First Quarter Report.

As the market resets, the number of sales has declined annually for the fifth straight quarter, with the lowest first quarter number of sales in seven years. Listing inventory has risen sharply for the last two years, and expanded for six straight quarters. However, the number of sales marked at $10 million or above is tied for the last.

Year over year, median sales price declined 5.5% to $850,000, and average sales price slipped 3.1% to $1.69 million. Number of sales fell 19.3% to 297 and days on the market was 138, down 10.4%. The listing discount was 10.6%, down from 12.6%, and listing inventory jumped 87.8% to 2,407.

On the North Fork, median sales price has not showed a year-over-year decline in eight straight quarters, and listing inventory continues to edge higher, up 5.4% to 368.

The number of sales declined year over year for the third time in four quarters, down 9.8% to 110, tied for the second-lowest number of sales above $2 million in six years.

Median sales price was unchanged at $606,250 — as were market share of sales under and over $1 million — though average sales price rose to $741,049. Days on market was 143, up from 136, and the listing discount was 12.9%, up from 9.8%.

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Luxury Houses Linger On Market, Fetch Lower Prices

In a shifting luxury real estate market, homes are taking longer to sell. And when they do, the sale price tends to be well below the original ask.

And the East End is not exempt.

New York City-based Concierge Auctions, the world’s largest luxury real estate auction firm, released its third annual “U.S. Luxury Homes Index,” analyzing the top sales in 56 of the hottest luxury real estate markets. The index shows that the longer luxury properties stay on the market, the lower the price they receive.

“For three years, our research has indicated that the largest factor in determining the price a luxury property will sell for is the number of days that it has been marketed for sale. Every day that a home sits on the market, it depreciates in value,” Laura Brady, president and founder of Concierge Auctions, said in a statement. “We continue to see that properties either sell quickly for close to their original list price, or they remain on the market for a long period of time and sell for a fraction of this price.”

With one of the priciest luxury markets in the country, the East End saw an average sale price of just over $24 million for the top 10 homes sold in 2018 — with the average 706.7 days on market, according to Concierge Auctions.

The 10 properties analyzed saw a total of 17 price reductions, and 90 percent of the homes that stayed on the market for more than 180 days only achieved 60.65% of the original list price, the report said.

“In every market, luxury properties face unique challenges,” Chad Roffers, chairman of Concierge Auctions, said in a statement. “These properties are highly distinctive and have a relatively small buyer pool. Not only does price have little bearing on demand, but buyers are often spread out over large geographic areas and they don’t typically all arrive at once. Days on market is an important indicator for gauging a market’s activity. This valuable information can help agents and sellers anticipate the challenges they may encounter.”

Bistro Eté Celebrates Moms the Best Way

Yes way, rosé!

This Mother’s Day, celebrate Mom all day and stop by Bistro Ete — located at 760 Montauk Highway #1342 in Water Mill — for a complimentary glass of rosé from 1 to 8 p.m.

For more information, call (631) 500-9085 or visit