UES townhouse summer rental hopes third time — and $25,000 price — is the charm

By Amy Tennery | March 15, 2011 11:56AM

Images from 127 East 78th Street and the listing agents (from top), Matt Perceval and Michael Pellegrino, both of Sotheby’s

An Upper East Side summer townhouse rental has jumped to its third brokerage in five years — with a price increase.

The 4,000-square-foot townhouse at 127 East 78th Street hit the rental market today for $25,000 a month. But rather than seeking year-long tenants, this listing is hoping to nab summer residents only — something it’s failed to do twice before.

The four-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bathroom home, which is available for July and August only, was first listed by Warburg Realty for $20,000 a month in 2006. Halstead Property had the exclusive three years later, with an asking price of $24,500 per month, that was later chopped to $19,500. And, after a failed effort to market the townhouse as a “holiday season” rental in 2010, also with Halstead, (asking $15,000 for a Dec. 19 to Jan. 1 lease term), the listing moved to Sotheby’s International Realty.

Matt Perceval, a Sotheby’s agent who is marketing the listing along with Michael Pellegrino, said he hopes to appeal to European renters who would prefer the “better value” of the townhouse over a hotel.

“We took it on with a belief that we would have a better reach to the international community,” Perceval said. “Most condos [and other rent-by-owner listings] you look at, they require one year minimum… this is quite unique.”

The home, located between Park and Lexington avenues, includes a steam shower, garden and terrace.

Perceval, who confirmed that the townhouse hasn’t been rented successfully before, said he wasn’t sure why the owners bumped up the price, adding only that the rent is “what the owners are looking for at this point.”

The owner, Louis Gino Fava, according to public records, was not immediately reachable for comment. 

Judith Lustgarten, the Halstead broker who previously marketed the townhouse, said the listing, while appealing in many aspects, has had a tough time finding renters interested in a two-month Manhattan lease.

“So many people called for a year [long] rental,” Lustgarten said, referring to when she had the listing. “[But with] two months, you’re very limited.”