Manhattan’s luxury real estate market continued its strong late fall and winter performance last week, with 27 homes asking $4 million or more going into contract, according to Olshan Realty.
That was the highest number since the first week of March 2020, when the same number of high-end homes found buyers.
Interestingly, over half of the luxury homes that went into contract last week were sponsor sales, as developers rode the wave of discounted prices, low interest rates and a booming stock market, according to Olshan.
The priciest home to find a buyer last week was a five-bedroom penthouse in an under-construction building on the Upper East Side asking $32.5 million. The buyer was someone from the Upper East Side who contacted the developer from a phone number listed on the construction site. “Everyone was saying they were leaving New York,” said Cathy Franklin of Corcoran Group, who handled the deal. “And now they are all coming back.”
The second most expensive was a full-floor, four-bedroom condo, also in a new building on the Upper East Side, asking $15.9 million, down from its original $18 million price tag when it came to the market in June 2017. The buyers are a New York family. Hilary Landis, who represented the developer along with her Corcoran colleague Beth Benalloul, said that “there was pent-up demand, and there are some very good large properties out there that are selling.” The building has only 11 apartments. “In Covid times, a small boutique building is often more desirable,” she said.
Across the general market, things are looking more positive, too. UrbanDigs’ latest report, comprising data from the first week of January, shows buyers are still champing at the bit to own in New York City. A look at weekly relative demand—the ratio between the number of new contracts signed and the number of new listings—reveals that the momentum from 2020’s fall season has continued into the first week of 2021, and eclipsed the first week of 2020—an encouraging sign.
In addition to strong demand, a surge of new listings hit the market last week, too. The number increased 260% week over week to 277 in all, after months of sliding numbers. On the rental side, there was a 26% increase in the number of leases signed last week, perhaps in response to price decreases. But more units hit the market, too, with a 138% weekly increase in new listings.