Demand for New York luxury real estate is has returned to pre-pandemic levels, with interested homebuyers signing 27 contracts valued above $4 million last week, according to a new report from Olshan Realty.
The most expensive sale this week was a five-bedroom penthouse in a still-in-construction Upper East Side building for $32.5 million, according to the report. The 31-unit condo building at 109 East 79th Street is being developed by Legion Investment Group’s Victor Sigoura and is slated for completion in 2022.
The second most expensive sale was at 1010 Park Avenue, a newly constructed luxury building that was build in the place of a demolished annex of Park Avenue Christian Church. The unit, which takes up nearly 4,000 square feet and the entire 9th floor of the building, was listed for $18 million in 2017 and sold for $15.9 million last week.
“There was pent-up demand, and there are some very good large properties out there that are selling,” Corcoran agent Hilary Landis, who represented the developer of this property with colleague Beth Benalloul, writes in the report. “It’s Park Avenue, a full floor, impeccable finishes, with a lot of amenities. There’s a pool and only 11 apartments in the building. In COVID times, a small boutique building is often more desirable.”
One of the 27 sales was a co-op, two were townhouses and 23 were condos. Another mixed-use condo and co-op unit was sold in the Upper West Side. Such a high number of ultra-luxury sales has not been seen in Manhattan since the start of the pandemic as affluent buyers fled the city in droves.
Suddenly, land, isolation and amenities were most in-demand and interest in condos in a dense city plummeted — to entice buyers, NYC developers offered everything from free cars and club memberships to outright price cuts. More than half of the ultra-luxury sales observed by Olshan Realty were sponsor sales, in which developers take advantage of such price cuts in the hopes of future growth and pay-off.
The report offers an early sign that the Manhattan luxury market is turning around and proving particularly profitable for those who have the money to wait out its ebbs and flows. As brokers pointed out throughout the pandemic, the city will continue to attract residents and those who can afford to pay for luxury real estate when prices are down could see their wealth skyrocket when the pandemic brings people back later.
“Everyone was saying they were leaving New York,” Corcoran Group’s Cathy Franklin states in the report. “And now they are all coming back.”