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845 Maple Lane, Southold was the top North Fork sale of 2021, listed by Sheri Winter Parker of Corcoran. (Photo Credit: OneKeyMLS/Sheri Winter Parker)

For North Fork homeowners with properties on the market, the past 12 months have been good ones. Very good.

That’s in part due to third-quarter low inventory, which ushered in high year-over-year sales prices. The average sale price rose 20.6 percent, according to the Brown Harris Stevens 3Q21 Hamptons Market Report. Some areas saw especially high jumps. In Jamesport the average sale price rose to $759,233, up from $407,188. In Mattituck it rose from $695,484 to $1,132,272, and from $694,401 to ($1,102,723 in Southold.

Demand was strong across almost all price points. Prices in all categories save those listed between $350,00 and $500,000 saw year-over-year (YOY) increases in the number of sales, according to the Second Quarter 2021 Brown Harris Stevens Hamptons Market Report. The >$500K – $750K category saw the highest number of transactions, clocking 26% of all Q2 2021 sales. The above $2M + category experienced the largest YOY increase, from 3 in 2Q20 to 13 in 2Q21.

The so-called “Bliss House” in Southold sold for $7 million in February, a record for the year, and $250,000 over asking with multiple bids offered. A five-bedroom, five-and-one-half bathroom, 4,565 square-foot waterfront home on five acres is indicative of what listing agent Sheri Winter Parker of Corcoran calls “special properties” that “will always have a buyer” — even with prices rising, she said in April.

The $7 million sale price exceeds that of the most expensive home sold on the North Fork in 2020, a New Suffolk home listed and sold by Parker that closed for $5.95 million.

Numbers like these are important to local real estate agents, of course, but so are the personal relationships they have with their clients and the time spent advising them on potential buys and sells.

“I had the pleasure of representing a lovely family last spring and their beautiful home,” says Diane Mollica, real estate salesperson, Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty, of her $3,399,999 sale. “The home was situated on five sprawling acres on the Long Island Sound, down a private road which leads to a long and suspenseful driveway lined with giant cedar trees. At the end, you come upon a gorgeous cedar shingle home. The home had amazing views, a primary suite to die for, and magnificent grounds. It’s my favorite property of 2021.”

The tight market also factored into some agents’ more memorable sales.

“My favorite sale of 2021 was a true pandemic saga,” says Marianne Collins, licensed real estate salesperson, Brown Harris Stevens. “I started working with my clients first as tenants at one of my seasonal rental listings.  They stayed through 2020 lockdown and beyond and we began the hunt for their North Fork home.”

Collins says the buyers bid on and lost out on several properties, “all with patience and good humor. Ultimately, a 1970s Nassau Point contemporary was the charm. It has perfect style with updated kitchen and baths, spaces for working from home including a separate studio, and proximity to bay beaches, and for walking the puppy soon to be adopted. We were able to accommodate the sellers’ timing needs and negotiated them down 5.5% under asking to  $1,227,000, a rarity in such a competitive market. It was a long process, but such a pleasure to see the most delightful clients finally enjoying their new home.

Some agents helped their longtime clients take advantage of the hot market.

“I had the opportunity to work with many families in 2021 who were looking to change their lives,” said Thomas McCloskey, licensed real estate broker, Douglas Elliman.  My favorite transaction was the sale of 25 Eastside Ave in Mattituck.  I had known the sellers for five years.  After a conversation about market conditions and pricing, they decided to sell.  Having followed all of my suggestions about a pricing strategy, marketing plan and market preparation, they received a full-price offer of $1,700,000 with no contingencies in seven days.  I am looking forward to hearing about their travels around the world.”

For others, a property’s uniqueness makes it memorable in a year of stand-outs.

“My favorite sale of 2021 was a hidden gem on the North Fork in Mattituck at 1505 Naugles Drive, which sold for $4,250,000,” says Susan Orioli, owner and licensed real estate broker, NoFo Real Estate. “The unique setting of this home had me awe struck every time I showed it.  Perched high above the inlet, with sweeping Sound views and unbelievable sunsets, there was also always a feeling of tranquility while watching the boats pass by.  With a nonstop selling season in 2021, this home provided a calmness to me above all every time I showed it, which I could tell the buyers felt instantly as well.”

Donielle Cardinale, associate real estate broker, Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty, can relate. Her most memorable home also offers expansive water views, and the sale was quite personal for her.

“I’ve been very blessed to have had a wonderful year in 2021, working with so many fabulous clients. Each has their own story about the journey of finding or letting go of their North Fork home. Each time I close another deal it means a new chapter begins for the buyer and the seller. One of my favorite deals this year was 1780 Jackson Street in New Suffolk.  

“The sellers are an extremely well-respected local attorney and his wife, who works alongside him in their office. The sellers are in a position where they work with so many local brokers and agents every day. I feel incredibly honored to have been chosen to represent them on the sale of their home. Especially because it is a home as special as 1780 Jackson Street. The view and location are most definitely one of the most spectacular anywhere on the North Fork, looking out over the Bay to Robin’s Island. 

“The buyers were people I’ve corresponded with over many years and share some mutual friends with but, had not had the good fortune of meeting in person until they called me to see this home. It was so fun to finally meet them. Especially because as soon as they visited the property, it was so clear that this home and this family were a perfect fit. 

“It is so gratifying to connect an amazing family with a home that suits them so well and see both my client and customer both feeling thrilled at the end of the transaction. Helping to create that happiness for the people I work for and with, is what I love about what I do.”