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Hamptons’ booming real estate market boosts property values

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman on Feb. 26,

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman on Feb. 26, 2016, at Town Hall. Credit: Gordon M. Grant

Property values in Southampton Town have swelled more than $3 billion since last year thanks to a booming Hamptons real estate market, town officials said.

Southampton’s tax base grew 5 percent since 2015, from $57.7 billion to $60.8 billion, according to a tentative tax roll released May 1.

Hamptons property values have risen rapidly in the post-recession years as the area’s luxury housing market has continued to surge.

“The real estate market is the strongest it has been since 2009,” Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said in a news release. “Property values townwide are increasing. This is the first time since 2011 where no community has seen a decrease in property values.”

Forbes named the Southampton community of Sagaponack the second-most expensive ZIP code in the country in 2015. Water Mill was 18th and Bridgehampton was 26th.

Southampton and Shelter Island are the only two towns in Suffolk County where properties are appraised at full market value, Southampton officials said. Southampton Town reassesses its properties every year.

Growing tax bases have helped Hamptons municipalities run budget surpluses and hire more workers in recent years.

But Schneiderman said at a work session Thursday that rising assessments have led to higher property taxes, straining some business owners.

“We have heard concerns from our commercial sector that the assessments are making it very hard for them to survive in business, those who own and operate,” he said. “Or even find a tenant, because they have to charge such high rents so that they have enough money to pay the land tax.”

Town Councilman Stan Glinka said he was aware of businesses that have closed after sudden jumps in assessed value.

“It was a major factor,” he said. “They couldn’t sustain themselves. It’s very concerning to me.”

Town Assessor Lisa Goree’s office analyzed sales from July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015, to create the tentative tax roll for 2016, town officials said.

Assessment staff gauged market conditions and tracked home improvements by visiting properties and looking at aerial images, Goree said.

About 21 percent of the town’s 52,000 residential and commercial properties will see their assessments change, Goree said. About 4 percent will see decreased assessments and about 17 percent will see increases, she said.

Property owners can challenge their assessments with the town’s Board of Assessment Review until May 17. A final tax roll will be released June 1.

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