In recent years, the debate of traditionally renting out your home (i.e. through a real estate agent) versus renting through popular vacation booking sites, like AirBnB and VRBO, has received more attention as the vacation rental industry continues to become more popular. We believe when renting out your beach house, there are many more benefits as a homeowner to rent your home through us rather than a booking site and we’ve put together a list of some of these benefits.
We’re here when you need us. First and foremost, we are local! We have two offices in Ocean Beach so if any problems arise for your guests during their stay, our rental agents can go over to your house in a matter of minutes to quickly address any issues for the renters. This is helpful to both you as the homeowner as well as the renters. The renters will get their issues addressed immediately, and we will inform you what is going on and take care of it without you needing to rush out to the island to handle the problem.
Fees & Payment Timing. Another major difference between renting your home through Fire Island Sales & Rentals versus VRBO and AirBnB is when the homeowners collect their money. Through VRBO, the owner doesn’t get paid until the day after the guest checks in. When we book rentals, the owner receives a deposit at the time of booking, which in many cases is months earlier.
VRBO charges 8% to the homeowner (which they break down into 5% commission and 3% payment processing fee). They also charge an additional service fee to the renter, which doesn't come directly from the owner's pocket, but if that same guest were to book their vacation through us, either it would cost them less or the owner would get to keep more of the money in their pocket.
AirBNB used to charge hosts 3% of the rent amount and make the guests pay a variable fee up to 14.2%. Now, they charge hosts 15%, resulting in Fire Island Sales & Rentals being way more competitive than AirBnB from a price perspective. They also charge a service fee to guests on top of the 15% to hosts.
We screen your renters. On AirBnB and VRBO, anyone can book your home at the click of a button. We talk to all of our potential tenants and weed out noisy or destructive groups that would cause a disturbance to the neighborhood and potentially damage your property. We draw on a huge pool of repeat tenants that rent with us year after year, so in many cases we know first hand they will treat your home with care. If a rowdy or destructive group rents your home off of AirBnB or VRBO, there is no one who is accountable to you. If we handle your rental, we do everything possible to ensure that only suitable tenants are placed in your home, and in the unlikely event that an issue arises, we are here to work with you to handle the situation.
Additionally, we also market your home for you by sending out email blasts to thousands of potential renters and promote your rental on our social media platforms, like Instagram and Facebook. We also know the Fire Island rental market very well so we can steer you in the right direction in terms of pricing, and we are extremely helpful in filling a last minute vacancy.
If you are interested in renting out your home, we are here for you! Contact us today to discuss what your home could generate in weekly, monthly, or seasonal income.
Congratulations! You listed your home, accepted an offer and went under contract. Now what? Below is a list of items to tackle ahead of closing to ensure a smooth transaction. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us at Fire Island Real Estate if you need any further assistance with these task items. We appreciate the opportunity to be of service to you!
You may want to provide the buyer with a list of the vendors you currently use to service your home (i.e. plumber, handyman, landscaper, cleaning service, etc.). We would be glad to pass this information along to the buyer so that they have the option to continue using the service providers that are familiar with the home.
Keys/Access Codes: Make sure to bring your keys to the closing to give to the buyer. If you are not attending the closing in person, make arrangements with us to provide the keys to the buyer.
In the event you need to clear or dispose of contents in your home, you may need a local carting company to assist. Below is contact information for several local carting companies:
Beach Comber Carting
Phone: (347) 234-8531
Phone: (631) 495-5658
Phone: (631) 583-8521
Phone: (631) 583-7271
Phone: (631) 567-7792
Don’t forget, there is always a place at the beach for you! Be sure to check out our rental options at www.fireislandrealestate.com/for-rent. If you are thinking of selling your Fire Island home, don’t hesitate to reach out to us to see how much your home is worth here.
By: Abigail Mago, Licensed Associate Broker
I think it’s safe to say that 2020 has been a wild year for everyone. Despite the economic chaos brought on by the pandemic, the Fire Island real estate market has flourished this year. While we won’t have a complete data set to analyze the full year’s performance until roughly February 2021, recorded sales so far indicate strong market growth in 2020. The average recorded sale price for all of Fire Island so far this year is $909,881. That’s a 10.9% increase from 2019’s average sale price of $820,381, and just above the highest average sale price of all-time which was $907,042 in 2018. While the average sale price is a very useful metric, it can be heavily skewed by any outliers, so it is also helpful to look at the median sale price. While Fire Island’s 2019 median sale price was $750,000, 2020’s median so far is $800,000, which represents a 6.7% increase.
There are a number of factors at play that are contributing to the strength of the market. Covid-19 has caused a large demand spike from city dwellers who are looking to escape to less dense places. Even though Fire Island is not traditionally thought of as a year-round destination, we are seeing many families still utilizing their homes late into the Fall season and planning to stay through the Winter months. Year-round usability was not previously a request made by many buyers, but in the current climate that has become a sought-after amenity.
Another major factor is that with the stock market back near all-time highs, many buyers are looking to real estate as an alternative home for their capital. Those with excess cash are weary of investing their money in what could be the top of the equities market, and many who are already invested have decided to cash out some of their stock portfolios, lock in their gains, and put that money into real estate. As an asset you can enjoy, beach houses are at the top of many savvy investors’ wish lists.
The final major factor at play is obscenely low interest rates. With mortgage rates currently in the mid 2’s, it almost feels as though the bank is paying you to buy a beach house. All of these factors acting at once are creating the perfect storm for an extremely strong market. With such robust buyer activity, inventory is rapidly shrinking, and I believe we are poised for another price jump.
Looking to escape to Fire Island? We've put together a list of available rentals we have to offer for this summer*. Check out the list below and we hope you decide to book your Fire Island stay with us!
Seaview Home Close to the Beach
Available: July or August
Asking: July $25,000
Ocean Bay Park Home with Ocean Views!
Available: August 3 - September 8
Ocean Bay Park Bayfront Bungalow
Available: August 1 - September 8
Renovated Seaview Home With Sunny Outdoor Deck
Available: June, July 1-26, August 3-23
Charming Seaview Home With Spacious Decks & Bay Views
Bath: 1 Full, 2 Half
Available: June, July 1-18, July 27-31, August 1-23
Ocean Bay Park Home With Sunny West Facing Deck
Available: June, July, August
Asking: June $20,000
Gorgeous, Modern Oceanfront Ocean Bay Park Home
Available: July 1 through September 8
Fully Equipped Ocean Beach Home with Spacious Deck
Available: June, July & August
Asking: May 31 - September 8 $38,000
Ocean Beach Home Just a 1 Min. Walk From The Beach
Available: June & July
Asking: June $15,000
Updated Ocean Beach Home W/ Great Outdoor Area
Available: August 10-16, 24-30, and August 31-September 7
Charming Ocean Beach Cottage Just a Minute Walk to the Beach!
Available: June1-7, 8-14, 15-21, August 17-23, 24-30, and August 31-September 7.
Completely Updated Ocean Beach Home W/ Pool & Steps From The Beach!
Available: June 8-15, June 22-28, June 29-July 5, July 20-July 26
Extremely Spacious Ocean Beach Home W/ a Pool
Available: June 29-July 5, August 17-23, August 24-30, August 31-September 7
Seaview Home Close to the Beach W/ 3 Decks!
Available: June 1-7, 8-14, July 20-26, August 17-23
Charming and Centrally Located Ocean Beach Home
Available: All of June. August 17-23, August 24-30, August 31-September 7.
Seaview Home Just a Steps From The Beach!
Available: August 10-16 & August 17-23
Newly Updated Seaview Home Near Ocean Beach
Available: June 1-21, June 29-July 12, July 20-August 16, August 24-Sept 13
Luxury Oceanfront Home in Ocean Bay Park
Available: July 3-9, July 17-August 6
Modern Ocean Bay Park Home W/ Ocean Views
Available: June, August 3-9, August 17-30
Large Ocean Beach Home W/ Pool & Just 1 House Back From The Beach!
Available: July 10 - 31
Bay & Ocean View Seaview Home
Available May 23-June 13, June 28-July 18
Just Like New Ocean Beach Home W/ Large Deck
Available July 5-12, July 19-26, August 9-23, August 30-Sept 7
Expansive Ocean Beach Home With Tons of Outdoor Space & Hot Tub
Available: July & August
Ocean Beach Home W/ Lots of Outdoor Space & Close to the Beach
Available: June 28-July 31
Oceanfront Ocean Bay Park Home W/ Pool
Available: July 10-16, July 31-August 6, August 24-Sept 3
Completely Redone Ocean Bay Park Home
Available: June 1-21, July 20-26, & August 17-23
Beautifully Renovated & Centrally Located Ocean Beach Home
Huge Bayfront Seaview Home W/ Sauna & Separate Gym
Available: May 29-June12
Well Maintained Ocean Bay Park W/ Guest Cottage
Oceanfront Lonelyville Bungalow W/ Incredible Ocean Views
Available: July & August
Renovated Ocean Beach Home W/ Pool & Hot Tub
Available: June 29-July 5, July 13-26, August 17-Labor Day
Please feel free to reach out to our Rental Agents, Alyssa & Dylan, for any questions or concerns you may have. Be sure to check out more rentals here!
*Available dates are always changing. We will update these dates when the information becomes available to us.
We know that these are uncertain times so we will do the best we can to answer any questions regarding coronavirus and Fire Island.
1. Are the ferries running?
Yes, the ferries are currently running. Be sure to check their website as they have been updated their schedules.
2. Are the beaches closed?
As per New York State executive order, beaches are currently open for "passive use" which means no swimming, no organized sports, or use of public restrooms. You can sit on the beach and must follow social distancing protocols. As of now, lifeguards are expected to be in place.
3. What precautions are the ferries taking to ensure safety for all riders?
The Fire Island Ferries are diligently cleaning the ferries, limiting freight for more seating to social distance, changing the schedules, and requiring you to wear a face mask while aboard. They are also asking that anyone who is sick to NOT get on the ferry. For more updates be sure to follow their social media and check their website.
4. Are all booked rentals cancelled?
There are currently no special restrictions in place for rentals during the summer. However, all renters are encouraged to pay special attention to social distancing regulations. We will post any future updates to regulations, should there be any.
5. Are restaurants closed?
*As of right now, restaurants are scheduled to allow outdoor dining starting on June 10th*
There are plenty of restaurants on Fire Island that are fulfilling delivery and pick up orders. Here is a list of restaurants that are open for pick up or delivery:
- Castaway Bar & Grill, Ocean Beach
- CJ's, Ocean Beach
- Dockside Brick Oven Pizza, Ocean Beach
- Maguire's, Ocean Beach
- Rachel's Bakery, Ocean Beach
- Scoops, Ocean Beach
- Seaview Market, Seaview
- Schooner Inn, Ocean Bay Park
- Surf's Out, Kismet
- Town Pizza, Ocean Beach
6. Are the markets open?
*The markets are starting to let limited amount of people in starting this weekend of 6/5.*
Yes, the markets are also taking pick up orders. Here are the markets we know that are open and will update if we hear more information:
- Ocean Beach Trading, Ocean Beach: Offering curbside pick up and they will bring your order out to you. Open 7:30am-4pm. 631-583-8440
- The Pantry, Ocean Beach: Will be open Mon.-Fri. 8-3 & Sat.-Sun 10-3. Ask them what they have available. They are currently working on a getting a website up and running to fulfill orders. Check back for more updates. 631-583-7467.
- Seaview Market, Seaview: Will be accepting phone orders at 631-583-8482 and will schedule a time for you to stop by and pick up your order outside the store. They are also giving the option to give them a shopping list and stop by the store to pick up your groceries. Open everyday from 7:30 am till about 2 pm.
- Dockside, Ocean Beach: Staying fully stocked with all the essentials needed during this time. Offering an easy call in feature for people to come pick up their goods. 631-583-0303
- Kismet Market, Kismet: Taking orders over the phone or safely at the front doors. Place your orders by calling 631-583-8449.
7. I own a house on Fire Island, am I still able to access it?
There are no legal restrictions preventing you from accessing your home. Local officials are recommending that anyone coming to the island, and intending to stay, should self quarantine for 14 days. Some communities have requested notification if you plan to stay at your Fire Island home. I.e. Seaview - notify the association, Ocean Beach - notify the police
8. Have there been any confirmed COVID cases on Fire Island?
As of April 30, there is one confirmed case in Saltaire.
9. Are you still taking rentals for this summer?
Yes, rentals are still available. Please feel free to check out the available rentals on our website or feel free to contact our rental agents, Alyssa O'Keefe and Dylan Owens.
10. Am I still able to see homes for sale or for rent?
As of right now, we are allowed to do virtual showings only until Suffolk County enters Phase 2 of reopening. We would be happy to walk you through any of our listings via FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, etc. Feel free to contact us if you are interested in seeing a home! Or check out our IGTV channel or our Youtube channel to view our listing videos.
11. Are any of the shops open?
Starting this weekend 6/5, shops are letting limited people in at a time
Here is a list of the shops that we know are open but are taking orders:
- Flair House, Ocean Beach: Check out their website to see what's in stock and call or text them to place an order. They are now offering curbside pick up.
- Fire Island Outfitters, Ocean Beach: Opening their doors when Phase 2 begins.
- Salty Stitch, Ocean Beach: Opening their doors when Phase 2 begins.
- FiveEightThree/Bambootique, Ocean Beach: Opening their doors when Phase 2 begins.
For many, Labor Day is the ultimate long weekend. Although it's the unofficial end of summer, there's still plenty to do!
While you can still enjoy the sweet September sunshine, there are some events happening this weekend to help you gear up to say goodbye to the season. After all, did you even celebrate #LDW if you weren't on Fire Island?
August 31st, 9am - 12pm: The Annual Catch and Release Fishing Contest
August 31st: See You Later Summer Party at Flynn's
August 30th - September 1st, 9am: Yoga at the Fire Island Hotel
September 1st: Labor Day Sunday Funday at Flynn's
September 1st, 3pm-6pm: Bayside Sessions at Maguire's
Thanks for another successful season! We can't wait to see everyone next year!
Ocean Beach is the place to be! This summer is the first Ocean Beach Seafood & Music Festival! Sponsored by the Ocean Beach Chamber of Commerce, this 3 day event will be filled with live music and delicious food specials from your favorite restaurants!
CJ's will be featuring live music from Johnny Irish, Bobby Digital, and J. Haus as well as plenty of specials off their menu.
In addition to CJ's, lots of other Ocean Beach restaurants will be participating in seafood dining specials starting at $19.95 with live music. With music starting at noon until 10pm at each location during the 3 day festival, the village of Ocean Beach will be filled with tons of energy that you won't want to miss!
The Ocean Beach Chamber of Commerce was formed this Spring with all the local Ocean Beach business owners. As members ourselves, we're excited for this event and many more!
Stop by from August 6th-8th for some music, food, and fun for all ages!
Click here for more info.
There's a lot of information to take in when it comes to purchasing your beach home. We've rounded up the questions that buyers ask the most when they are buying their dream Fire Island beach house!
Closing costs include the following:
In general, taxes on the island are extremely reasonable. For most properties, the general range of annual taxes run between $2,000 and $15,000.
Yes. While the vast majority of homeowners are summer residents only, there is a growing year round community on Fire Island.
Yes. Mortgage financing is readily available on Fire Island. Not all banks will lend on the island but most will.
Yes. All homes on Fire Island are eligible for flood insurance coverage. In fact, because Fire Island is located in a federal flood zone, homes on Fire Island qualify for low cost flood insurance rates through the National Flood Insurance Program. Additional coverage is also available through private insurers. Key factors in determining the cost of flood insurance are the amount of coverage desired, the elevation of the property you purchase, and the flood zone in which it is located.
Yes. The Fire Island School District offers pre-kindergarten through grade 6 classes at the Woodhull school, located in Corneille Estates. After grade 6, parents have the choice of sending their children to either the Islip Union Free School District or the Bay Shore Union Free School District.
The Fire Island Ferry Company operates special ferries designated for freight. Once items arrive on Fire Island, you can hire a contractor or carting service to move them to your home. For details on the Fire Island Ferries freight service and policies, please visit: http://www.fireislandferries.com/info/freight-info/
No. Fire Island is a car-free community. Vehicle access to Fire Island is regulated by the Fire Island National Seashore.
(https://www.nps.gov/fiis/index.htm) Driving beyond Field 5 is prohibited during the Summer season. During the off-season, a limited number of federal permit holders are allowed to drive onto the island. Driving permits are available only to year round residents or to contractors. The waiting list to obtain a new driving permit is typically over a year or more.
If you have any further questions please feel free to reach out! Contact us today for any additional information you're interested in when it comes to shopping for a Fire Island beach house! We'd love to be of service to you.
Cover photo shot by Josh Goetz Photography.
The strong market performance we’ve been experiencing over the last few years has continued through 2018. In fact, 2018 was a record year for the Fire Island real estate market, both in terms of the average and median sale prices. The average island wide sale price reached an all-time high of $907,042. This represents a 14% year over year increase from 2017’s average sale price of $797,947. This is the first time the average sale price has broken the $900,000 mark since I began data collection in 2006. To provide some historical context, the average sale price over the last 13 years has been $776,401, which is 17% lower than 2018’s average.
While the average sale price was a record high, the number of homes sold did decline by 10% from 2017 to 2018. 133 Fire Island homes were sold in 2018, as compared to 147 in 2017. Even though the volume of sales did decline year over year, 2018’s 133 sales is still 30% higher than the number of homes sold in a typical year, which, over the last 13 years, has averaged 102 sales per year.
The lowest priced Fire Island property sold in 2018 was $100,000, as compared to 2017’s lowest priced sale of $50,000. The most expensive property sold in 2018 traded for $3,800,000, which is 105% higher than the most expensive sale closed in 2017 of $1,850,000, and 45% higher than the 13-year average high price paid of $2,627,154. While it should be noted that the $3,800,000 sale was of a commercial property, not a residence, the high end of the market was significantly more active in 2018 than it was in 2017, with 15 sales occurring at or above the $1.5 million mark and 7 sales occurring at or above the $2 million mark. In 2017, only 9 homes traded at or above the $1.5 million mark, topping out at a high price of $1,850,000.
The median sale price in 2018 was $765,000, a 2% year over year increase from 2017’s median sale price of $750,000. Stronger market activity in the higher priced segments is also evident in the fact that the average sale price in 2018 was 16% higher than the median sale price. In 2017, the average was only 6% higher than the median sale price. The higher the average sale price relative to the median sale price, the greater the activity at the high end of the market, causing the average to skew upwards. The graph below compares the average and median sale prices from 2016 – 2018.
To put the 2018 market data into perspective, it is helpful to look at sales figures relative to the entire period of data collection in addition to comparing to the previous year’s performance.
In addition to looking at the island’s overall market performance, it is useful to examine the data on a town by town basis.
Atlantique saw no sales activity in 2018. A small community, Atlantique usually sees 1 sale per year. The average sale price over the past 12 years in Atlantique is $589,323.
Cherry Grove saw strong market performance in 2018, with 15 homes trading, as compared to 12 homes in 2017 and a historical average of 13 per year. The average sale price in 2018 was $628,933, which was up 18% from $531,750 in 2017, and up 16% from the 13-year average sale price of $544,342. The least expensive Cherry Grove property to trade in 2018 was $335,000, up 29% from 2017’s lowest price of $260,000.
Two homes sold in Corneille Estates in 2018, as was the case in 2017. 2 sales per year is average for the community. The 2018 average sale price was $1,142,000 which is 36% higher than 2017’s average sale price and 56% higher than the last 13 year’s average sale price of $734,163. 2018’s lowest price Corneille Estates sale of $999,000 was 22% higher than 2017’s lowest price sale of $820,000. The highest price paid for a Corneille Estates home in 2018 was $1,285,000, up 49% from 2017’s high price of $860,000 and up 65% from the 13-year average high price of $778,958.
Sales transaction volume in Davis Park was over 3 times a typical year in 2018 with 16 sales taking place, as compared to the historical average of 5 sales per year. Sale count was up 78% from 2017, which was also a strong year with 9 homes trading. The average sale price rose by 3% from $569,137 in 2017 to $588,725 in 2018, and was 14% higher than an average year. The highest price paid for a home in Davis Park in 2018 was $1,225,000 which was a 40% increase over the previous year, and 60% higher than the average highest price paid in the last 13 years.
After no sales activity in Dunewood in 2017, 2018 saw strong market activity with 3 sales. A small community, Dunewood typically sees only one home sale per year. The average sale price in 2018 was $1,678,335, which is 95% higher than the 13-year average of $859,438. The highest price paid for a home in Dunewood in 2018 was $2,917,506, which is 175% higher than the 13-year average high price paid of $1,062,501.
Fair Harbor had another strong year with 14 sales in both 2018 and 2017, which is 56% higher than the 13-year average of 9 sales per year. The average sale price was up 16% year over year, to $926,946 in 2018 from $795,709 in 2017. This is a 37% increase over the historical average sale price of $679,045. The highest price paid in Fair Harbor in 2018 was $2,000,000, which is 14% higher than the highest price paid in 2017 and 79% higher than the highest price paid in an average year. The lowest price paid in Fair Harbor in 2018 of $525,000 is 5% lower than the lowest price paid in Fair Harbor in 2017 of $550,000.
The Pines market remained remarkably steady from 2017 to 2018, with 29 homes trading hands in both years and the average sale price dipping by .3% from $1,011,961 in 2017 to $1,008,792 in 2018. The average 2018 sale price was .4% shy of the 13-year average sale price of $1,013,188. The highest price paid in the Pines in 2018 was $2,485,018, up 34% from 2017’s high price of $1,850,000 and up 10% from the 13-year average high sale price of $2,262,348. The lowest price paid in the Pines in 2017 was $412,754, which is 25% lower than the lowest price paid in 2017 of $550,000.
Kismet is one of the only Fire Island towns where the market declined from 2017 to 2018, with a 3% year over year decline in average sale price and a 43% decline in the number of sales, from 7 in 2017 to only 4 in 2018, which is 20% less than an average year. The average sale price decreased from $694,857 in 2017 to $671,250 in 2018. The lowest price paid for a Kismet home was 34% lower in 2018 than in 2017, and 21% lower than in an average year. The highest price paid in Kismet in 2018 was $995,000 which was 12% higher than 2017’s high price paid of $885,000.
Lonelyville saw strong performance in 2018, with 3 homes selling, as compared to an average year which sees just one home sale. The average sale price was up 57%, as compared to the historical average sale price, as well as year over year, increasing from $751,667 in 2017 to $1,178,333 in 2018. The lowest price paid in Lonelyville was up 63% from $450,000 in 2017 to $735,000 in 2018. The highest price paid in Lonelyville was also up, increasing by 36% from $1,100,000 in 2017 to $1,500,000 in 2018, which is 68% higher than the 13-year average high price paid.
Ocean Bay Park saw dramatic price growth in 2018, with the average sale price increasing by 52% from $640,611 in 2017 to $973,745 in 2018. The average sale price in Ocean Bay Park over the last 13 years has been $544,985, which is 79% lower than 2018’s average. Sale count was up 11% year over year, with 10 homes trading in 2018, as compared to 9 in 2017. This represents 35% more sales than in an average year, which typically sees 7 sales occurring. The lowest price paid in Ocean Bay Park in 2018 was $550,000, as compared to $130,000 in 2017 which is a 323% increase year over year and a 106% increase over the 13-year average low price of $266,962. Fire Island Real Estate brokered the highest price Ocean Bay Park sale in 2018 of $2,000,000, which is the highest price ever paid in Ocean Bay Park, a 67% increase from 2017’s high price paid of $1,200,000, and 104% higher than the 13-year average high price paid of $982,182. In recent years, Ocean Bay Park has shed its reputation as a haven for share houses and group rentals and continues to transition towards luxury family homes and high-end rentals.
Coming off of record transaction volume of 39 sales in 2017, not surprisingly the number of Ocean Beach sales declined substantially year over year to 21 sales in 2018. This 46% decline can be viewed as a regression to the mean, with 21 sales per year being the average over the last 13 years.
While sale count decreased to be in line with a typical year, average sale price was up 14%, from $793,705 in 2017 to $908,516 in 2018, which is 33% higher than the historical average sale price of $681,952. The highest price paid in Ocean Beach in 2018 was $3,800,000 which is 137% more than 2017’s high price paid of $1,606,000. This sale was a commercial property, not a residence. The highest price paid for an Ocean Beach residence in 2018 was $1,185,000. The lowest price paid for an Ocean Beach home in 2018 was $385,000, down 4% from 2017’s low price of $400,000.
No homes changed hands in Robbins Rest in 2018. Given the small size of the community, an average year sees only 1 home sale. The historic average sale price in Robbin’s Rest is $677,333.
Saltaire had an extremely weak year in 2018. Traditionally considered one of the most desirable communities on Fire Island, Saltaire usually sees 10 homes trade a year with some of the highest price points island wide. 2018 saw only 2 Saltaire homes trade hands, which represents an 82% year over year decline and an 80% decline from the 13-year average sale count. The average sale price also declined by 18% from $943,691 in 2017 to $775,250 in 2018.
The lowest price paid for a Saltaire home is 2018 was $645,000, which was 62% higher than the 2017 low price paid of $397,500, and 45% higher than the 13-year average low price. However, the high price paid was only $905,500, which is down 38% from 2017’s high price of $1,460,000 and down 52% from the 13-year average high price paid of $1,875,042.
After a significant sales slump in 2016 and 2017, Seaview sales came back strong in 2018. Sale count was up 38% from 8 sales in 2017 to 11 sales in 2018, which is 22% greater than the 13-year average sale count of 9 homes. The average sale price was up 29% from $838,581 in 2017 to $1,081,591 in 2018. While the year over year average price jump was considerable, 2018’s average sale price was just a modest 3% above the 13-year average of $1,045,489.
The lowest price paid in Seaview in 2018 was $715,000, up 8% from 2017’s low price of $660,000, and 26% higher than the historical average price of $566,731. The highest price paid in Seaview in 2018 was $2,372,500, which is 146% higher than the highest price paid in 2017 of $962,500 and 19% higher than the 13-year average Seaview sale price of $1,998,192.
Two homes traded in the Summer Club in 2018, as compared to none in 2017. Two home sales per year is typical for the Summer Club. 2018’s average Summer Club sale price was $1,123,750, which is 56% higher than the historical average sale price of $719,907. The lowest price paid in the Summer Club was $1,100,000, which is 89% higher than the 13-year average lowest sale price of $582,656. The highest price paid was $1,147,500, which is 20% higher than the 13-year average high price paid of $957,688.
Only one home sold in Water Island in 2018, for a sale price of $1,500,000. 2017 also saw only one home sale in Water Island, at a price point of $1,200,000, representing a 25% year over year increase and a 26% premium over the 13-year average sales price of $1,194,042.
With both the average and median sale prices reaching record levels in 2018, the Fire Island real estate market continued the streak of strong performance that we’ve been experiencing since 2016. While the number of sales in 2018 did decline by 10% year over year, we are still experiencing annual transaction counts well above average. The 14% increase in the average sale price coupled with the modest 2% increase in the median sale price indicates that the market’s performance was driven largely by sales at the high end. This is not surprising, given that the high end of the market was completely dormant in 2017, so that pent up demand ended up transacting in 2018.
Because the Fire Island real estate market does not function like a traditional real estate market with a centralized multiple listing service, reliable market data is not readily available to the public. Our annual market reports are published in an effort to address that. Both buyers and sellers are served by being fully informed about the market in which they are considering transacting. Please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if I can provide any further information, or if I can be of help to you in the sale or purchase of your Fire Island home.
Please note that all information herein is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Fire Island Real Estate is not responsible for any errors, omissions, or incorrect information. The information contained herein is sourced from public real estate transaction records. Sales data reporting has a lag of approximately 90 days. Due to this lag, there may be some outstanding sales that closed late in 2018 but have not yet been reported and are therefore not reflected in this report. All historic data refers to the period between 2006 and 2018.
Many people are under the misconception that mortgage financing is not available on Fire Island but that is not the case. Mortgage financing, both for second homes and investment properties on Fire Island, is available through a wide variety of lenders. Though not all banks will lend on the island, most will. No need to stockpile the entire purchase price in cash if you don’t want to.
It is important to know that there is a difference between rental homes and vacation properties and that they are financed differently. You would want to buy your beach home as a vacation home if you are able to purchase your home without needing the property to generate any income. Qualifying for a mortgage is more attainable and straightforward when rental income is off the table and you'll get a better mortgage interest in this case as well.
With Fire Island's robust rental market, buyers take advantage of the opportunity to earn additional income and will finance their home as an investment property. In this case, you'll need to provide an appraisal and comparable rental schedule to your lender, showing the property's potential income.
We've compiled a list of lenders we've worked with who will provide a mortgage to your second home/investment property.
Many people spend their lives dreaming of owning a beach house, but instead of going for it, they assume it's a luxury that's out of reach. However, with Fire Island’s robust rental market, you might be surprised at the financial realities of owning a vacation home. Buying a beach house can give you the opportunity to earn significant income by renting out the home when you're not using it. Most of the buyers we service see their purchases as both an asset they can enjoy with their family and friends, and as an investment that can produce rental income to defray the cost of ownership. Renting the home frequently gives the owner the opportunity to own the home at a substantially subsidized cost, with some properties actually carrying themselves. Additionally, many people are under the misconception that mortgage financing is not available on Fire Island but that is not the case. Mortgage financing, both for second homes and investment properties on Fire Island, is available through a wide variety of lenders. No need to stockpile the entire purchase price in cash if you don't want to.
Wondering what renting your beach house could look like for you? On Fire Island, weekly rentals range anywhere from $2,500-$16,000 per week depending on the property. Owners who don't block out any time for their personal use frequently earn approximately 12 times their peak weekly rate as an annual total. For example, if your home rents for $5,000/week in July & August, you could expect to earn approximately $60,000/year in gross rentals for your home. If you decided to use it for 2 peak summer weeks, then you can adjust your expected gross rental by $10,000.
While there is an active market for rentals from May to October, you'll see the highest rents during the peak summer weeks, which corresponds to when kids are out of school, since that is when most families take their vacations. Shoulder season rents are typically about half what a home commands during July & August. Many homeowners choose to use their homes more during the shoulder seasons, (preferring the peace, quiet and lack of crowds) and rent them out during the peak for maximum rental income. While renting out their home the majority of the time is a great option for buyers looking at their home primarily as an investment, for those who prefer to use the home for the majority of the summer season, in many cases, renting just one or two summer weeks will cover your annual taxes and insurance. Even if your primary objective is to purchase a home for your personal use, it's nice to know that the asset you're purchasing has the potential to generate significant income, just in case your circumstances might change in the future.
Some buyers love the idea of owning a vacation rental, but don't have the necessary time to devote to it. Full service rental management is available to handle all of the hassle for you, so you can still use the home when you want, and generate income when you want, all without any effort on your part. At the end of the day, owning a vacation rental gives you the best of both worlds- income and personal enjoyment!
In this article, The Wall Street Journal covers wealthy buyers' interest in real estate on Fire Island. Fire Island Real Estate's Licensed Associate Broker, Abigail Mago, gives insight on how Hurricane Sandy drove up prices in the long term and why buyers are drawn to Fire Island. Check out the article below!