THE SCOOP Let's just say the temperature isn't the only thing sizzling this summer - Montauk's popularity is simply on fire this season. "The market is so hot right now," says Theresa Eurell, a resident and sales associate of Town & Country Real Estate. "This year, more than last, we had an extraordinary rental season," adds Joan Hegner, a resident and associate broker of The Corcoran Group.
Lynden Restrepo, a resident and principal broker for Atlantic Beach Realty Group, adds, "It's the first year we saw people coming out in January and February to look."
This hamlet at the easternmost tip of Long Island does have much to offer. "Historically, Montauk is known for the most beautiful beaches and sport fishing," Hegner says. "We have the Sound, the bay, Lake Montauk and the ocean." Other attractions include surfing, boating, whale watching, camping, hiking, biking, golfing and horseback riding. Factor in popular restaurants and hot spots, and the appeal comes into focus.
About 65 percent of the land in Montauk is preserved, says resident Laraine Creegan, executive director of the Montauk Chamber of Commerce. The hamlet, which offers an eclectic housing stock, has several distinct neighborhoods, such as Ditch Hills, known for surfing, and Hither Hills, a private beach community. Houses listed for less than $1 million are moving the quickest, agents say.
"I do forecast another good selling year," Hegner says.
RENTALS From $15,000 for a little cottage all the way up to $200,000 for an oceanfront house for the entire Memorial Day-to-Labor Day season, Hegner says.
SALES PRICE According to Town & Country Real Estate's midyear 2010 home sales report, there were 39 sales with a median sales price of $747,500 in the first half of 2010. In the first half of 2009, there were 14 sales with a median price of $717,500.
ATTRACTIONS Montauk Lighthouse as well as ongoing festivities, including free concerts. Check montaukchamber.com
Town: East Hampton
Area: 17.4 square miles
ZIP code: 11954
Median age: 43.3
Median household income: $52,198
Median home value: $747,500
Median age of homes: 29
LIRR time to NYC: 3 hours, 3 minutes at peak
Monthly ticket: $392
Getting there: Hampton Jitney also provides service between Manhattan and Montauk
School district: From kindergarten to eighth grade, students attend the Montauk district and East Hampton High School.
SOURCES: Claritas 2009; Judi Desiderio, Town & Country Real Estate; LIRR; Joan Hegner, The Corcoran Group
14 North Surfside Ave. This 2004 Nantucket-style house sold in February. It was initially offered for $3,995,000. Features include a grand foyer with a double staircase, a dual-sided stone fireplace and a kitchen with handmade cabinets, marble and granite tops. The 1.44-acre parcel includes a private pond and access to Shadmoor State Park hiking trails and ocean beaches. Taxes are $12,000.
14 Farragut Rd. This 2,000- square-foot 1986 Contemporary sold in April. It was built on .52 acres. The layout includes an open living-dining-kitchen area with a stone fireplace. It has three bedrooms and 21/2 bathrooms. Amenities include central air-conditioning, an in-ground pool, a finished basement, multilevel decks, a one-car garage and a lawn irrigation system. Taxes are $9,357.
713 Old Montauk Hwy. This week, this 1,500-square-foot cottage closed for $7,000 above the asking price of $795,000. Set on a quarter-acre parcel within walking distance of Hither Hills ocean beach, the cottage has four bedrooms and two bathrooms. Amenities include a full basement and a 21/2-car garage. Taxes are $2,879.
Now for sale
Starter: $435,000 Close to shops and bay beach, this three-bedroom brick ranch has one bathroom. A storage shed also sits on this quarter-acre parcel. Taxes are $3,600. Lynden Restrepo, Atlantic Beach Realty Group, 631-668-0400
Trade up: $1.3 million Set on a 1.7-acre hilltop, this three-bedroom cottage has two bathrooms, water views and beach rights. There's room for expansion with proper permits. Taxes are $4,336. Theresa Eurell Town & Country Real Estate, 631-668-0500
High end: $50 million High on a bluff, this 7,000- square-foot oceanfront home has five bedrooms and four bathrooms. The property is about 35.5 acres; taxes are about $36,000. Susan Breitenbach, The Corcoran Group, 631-899-0303
At a glance
Number of homes for sale: About 340
Price range: $130,000 to $50 million