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East Hampton Centre Why it's worth buying in:
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East Hampton Centre Why it's worth buying in: This South Fork enclave offers year-round and summer visitors almost everything at their fingertips - from the LIRR and Jitney to movies and stores, says Diane Saatchi, senior vice president at the East Hampton office of the Corcoran Group. The ocean is about two miles away. There are 11 restaurants. There are 50 stores, both part of national chains and mom-and-pop varieties. "While prices are down here, as they are everywhere, a home in this area will still hold its own and the downtown will always be a popular place to buy," says Saatchi. What the numbers show: There were four sales in the second quarter; last year at the same time, there was one. Nine of the 10 most expensive properties sold in East Hampton in 2008 were here. What's on the market: The housing stock is 99 percent year-round single-family homes and the rest are town house condos, she says. Recent home sales: A 4,023- square-foot ranch-style house sold in July for $5.2 million, with three bedrooms and four bathrooms on 1.8 acres, with taxes of $13,166. A 2,600- square-foot barn-style home with four bedrooms and 4 1/2 bathrooms sold in July for $2.1 million, on almost half an acre with taxes of $12,138.

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The downtown draw

These six town centers lure with arts, eateries, shops, and style. -- Laura Koss-Feder