North Fork: "Ask Zen." Residential Land Values
"Ask Zen," Episode 2: Residential Land Values on the North Fork
Episode 2 with Barry Novick, an interview with a leading NF realtor about the residential real estate market. This interview is the second in the "Ask Zen" series.
HB: How have residential vacant land values fared since the stabilization of the North Fork real estate market in 2013?
ZEN: The market for sales of residential properties was virtually non-existent from 2009 - 2015. Since then we have seen an increase in activity by builders and prospective home owners, and investors, looking for good opportunities in several of the hamlets, and especially recently in Orient and Greenport, where there has been a surge in residential land values.
HB: What percent of value did vacant land loose during the period where activity fell off, 2009-2015?
ZEN: Approximately 30%. It was not until 2015 that we saw the market recoup.
HB: Have they reached their pre-recession values?
ZEN: It is hard to pinpoint, but in evaluating some of the recent sales in 2017, I would say yes, they have recovered their value-- this year, in 2017.
HB: What is the approximate price range of an off-the-water buildable lot (residential)?
ZEN: For a buildable residential lot the value of a property of the same size will vary in value dependent on location. One can purchase a buildable acre for $165,000 and a half acre parcel for $275,000, both off the water, but in different locations.
HB: What about a bay front buildable lot? Sound front?
ZEN: A half acre bay front parcel in Southold was sold recently for in excess of $800,000. Location always drives price. A one acre sound front parcel can sell for $1,000,000+.
HB: We are hearing the term "conservation buyer" thrown around these days. Can you tell us what that means?
ZEN: This is a buyer, or developer, that is interested in maintaining a balance between land development and preservation. Often the mechanism for preservation is an agricultural use. The development rights of a portion of the property can be sold, committing that portion of the property to specific agricultural uses only. Some properties are divided so that there is a buildable portion with development rights intact, and a "preserved portion," with development rights sold.
HB: Are you seeing more conservation buyers on the North Fork?
ZEN: Yes. We see a continued effort to maintain the agricultural integrity of the North Fork. Municipalities and organizations, such as Peconic Land Trust, work with conservation buyers to facilitate these purchases.
The increasing number of boutique agricultural initiatives, many of which are flourishing, reflect the recognition of the importance of farming to the North Fork . Also residents are either returning to the North Fork, or newly coming here for a change in lifestyle-- for the quality of life afforded here. Maintaining the balance between development and preservation is a key component.
Check back in with Zen soon. Next time he will be sharing some anecdotes on the subject, "Why do people buy what they buy?" Now that promises to be interesting!!
The above interview is the second in a series. If you have specific questions you would like to see answered in upcoming interviews, please let us know by clicking here.
Note from HB: This interview is intended to give an insider’s view of the North Fork real estate market, and is not intended to provide investment advice.