Business: Douglas Elliman Recruits Martha Gundersen, Town & Country Second Quarter Numbers, KBH Jewels, Donna Dazzo in Home Staging Industry Awards

Martha Gundersen. Photo courtesy of Douglas Elliman.

Douglas Elliman Recruits Martha Gundersen

Power agent Martha Gundersen has is the newest face at Douglas Elliman, bringing her team — which includes Dylan Huddleston and Rafal Trawicki — to the Bridgehampton office, after spending nearly 17 years at Brown Harris Stevens.

“I am happy to have been given the opportunity to grow in my career with an outstanding company,” Gundersen said in a statement.

With more than a decade of experience, the veteran associate broker has earned sales totaling well over $1 billion and supports numerous charities, including the World Wildlife Fund, The American Cancer Society, Women for Women International and Plan International. The Amagansett resident has a background in art and landscape design, and is very active in the local community.

“We are excited to welcome Martha Gundersen to the Douglas Elliman family” Todd Bourgard, senior executive manager of sales for the Hamptons, said in a statement. “Her abundance of talent, experience, second-to-none work ethic and knowledge is the exact definition of a world-class broker.”

“Martha comes with an impeccable reputation and exquisite portfolio, and we are honored to have her and her team join our team,” added Melody Newberry, regional vice president of marketing and operations in the Hamptons.

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Town & Country Reports Second Quarter Numbers

The real estate market’s second quarter was a serious case of push and pull, according to Judi Desiderio, chief executive officer of Town and Country Real Estate, “though it wasn’t all bad.”

“To demonstrate the true market condition for the second quarter, let’s begin at the bottom with all Hamptons markets combined,” she said. “There’s quite a bit of red in all but one price range — $20 million-plus — where there were two sales in 2019 and only one in 2018.”

Bridgehampton is the home of both sales — 236 Quimby Lane for $26 million and 901 Scuttlehole Road at just over $20 million, which was part of the Edward S. Gordon Estate.

“Back in the 1990s, Mr. Gordon chose to move from Ocean Road to north of the highway in Bridgehampton,” Desiderio said. “I credit him with enlightening the public of the beauty of north of the highway. He created ‘Three Ponds Farm’ and values in Bridgehampton North took off.”

The difference year-to-year in all other price categories, and the three criteria monitored by Town & Country, declined overall. The number of home sales dropped 22% in the Hamptons, with the $2 million to $3.49 million price range declining by as much as 37% year-to-year.

However, Montauk appears to be riding a new wave of home sales, up 54%, though the median home sales price sank 37% from $1.75 million to $1.1 million year-over-year. “It seems the Montauk buyers are hungry for those great beachy cottages,” Desiderio said.

East Hampton Village retains the crown for the highest median home sales price, though it is nearly 31% lower than last year — from $6 million to $4.15 million — and the Southampton Village median home sales price took the baton, increasing 63% year-to-year, from $2.175 million to $3.55 million.

“Shelter Island is enjoying a significant increase in home sales over $2 million, which resulted in a total home sales volume surge of 91%, from $11 million in 2018 to $20.7 million in 2019, same time period,” Desiderio said. “In Sag Harbor Village, the $2 million to $3.499 million price category shot up 150%, which pushed the median home sales price up nearly 43%. Yet, last year same time period, there were two sales in the $5 million to $9.99 million, and this year none.”

Westhampton — which includes Westhampton Beach, Remsenberg, East Quogue, Quogue and Quiogue — experienced more home sales at higher prices, as quantified by a 16% increase in median home sales price, but the number of home sales dropped 35%, yielding a 40% decline in total home sales volume.”

On the North Fork, second quarter home sales took one step forward and two steps back. Looking at all North Fork markets combined, there were four fewer home sales and the total home sales volume dropped nearly 11%.

“This dynamic was due to less activity for home sales over $1 million,” Desiderio said. “Truth be told, the primary issue holding back North Fork home sales is a severe lack of inventory, as the demand is certainly there for most price ranges in most markets.”

Jamesport — which includes Aquebogue, Baiting Hollow and South Jamesport — also realized a pull back, with 25% fewer homes changing hands, a 43% decline in total home sales volume, yielding a median home sales price nearly 20% lower than last year, same quarter.

Orient, which includes East Marion and Greenport, had a powerful second quarter — with a 33% increase in the number of home sales and a staggering 61% rocket up in total home sales volume from $10.9 million in 2018 to $17.6 million in 2019.

“This was thanks to the only two North Fork home sales over $2 million, one in East Marion and one in Orient,” Desiderio said. “Conversely, Southold, which includes New Suffolk and Peconic, experienced a drop of nearly 31% in the number of home sales, a 34% decline in total home sales volume, and a 6.7% dip in median home sales price.”

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KBH Jewels Pops Up in Montauk

KBH Jewels is popping up in a big way  — as a pop-up shop within Sasha Benz’s eclectic pop-up shop, Baybi Pop, in Montauk.

Featuring “detailed craftsmanship and exceptional wearability,” the New York City-based jewelry brand conveys a modern aesthetic, designed with 14K recycled and reclaimed gold, paired with fine-grown and cultivated, 100% conflict-free diamonds.

“These unique diamonds are cultivated in greenhouses, not mined from the Earth, and are paired with reclaimed and recycled precious metals,” according to the brand’s website. “The heart of our line offers elevated essentials and modern classics; the upscale uniform for the ethical and sustainable individual. KBH Jewels wants to help set a new luxury tradition for our generation and the standard for generations to come.”

Select items will include “The Crown” ring — “for the queen inside us all” — for $950, iconic leaf climber earrings, which cost $640 for one or $1,280 for a pair, and the “Wonder Women” ring for $600.

“We all have wonder women inside us,” the website said. “Inspired by moms, daughters, wives, professionals, friends and protectors, KBH Jewels created this signature ring for the women who really do it all.”

KBH Jewels x Baybi Pop pop-up shop is located at 716 Montauk Highway in Montauk. For more information, visit

Donna Dazzo Represents East Hampton in Home Staging Industry Awards

East Hampton and New York City home stager Donna Dazzo has been named a top-10 finalist in the Home Staging Industry Awards for the Best Luxury Vacant Stager of the Year division, as voted on by the Real Estate Staging Association.

Dazzo, the owner of Designed to Appeal, has been a professional real estate stager since 2007. Her work has been featured on HGTV’s “Selling New York” and Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing New York” and in The New York Times, Hamptons Magazine, Newsday and The Chicago Tribune.

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