Demand for high-end NYC condos rivals market’s peak

December 23, 2011 08:56AM

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From left: 15 CPW, Time Warner Center and The Plaza

Not only is the high-end of the Manhattan housing market healthy, but in some respects it’s performing just as well as it did during the market’s peak, according to the Wall Street Journal. Seven deals worth more than $30 million have been recorded this year, not including Sanford Weill’s recent $88 million sale, the most since 2008 and the third-most ever. Further, the $6,000 per square foot price point that was noteworthy even in 2008 has become somewhat more commonplace, the Journal said.

The astronomical prices are buoyed by a shortage of ultra-luxury apartments, according to brokers, as the world’s wealthiest people are moving assets right now. The top of the market is so hot right now that owners in the Time Warner Center are turning down offers of more than $10,000 per square foot, according to Elizabeth Sample, a broker at Sotheby’s International Realty.

“The high end seems to have no end of an appetite for top quality,” said Kirk Henckels, director of private brokerage at Stribling & Associates. “The super rich have re-entered the market.”

One segment of buyer has undoubtedly increased since the peak of the market: Russian billionaires. London had long been the top choice for Russian buyers seeking foreign apartments, but the city is no longer as attractive, according to real estate attorney Edward Mermelstein, and they’ve turned to Manhattan. Accordingly, Russian’s were responsible for this year’s two highest sales, the $88 million purchase by Dmitry Rybolovlev and Igor Krutoy’s $48 million deal for an apartment in The Plaza.

Appraiser Jonathan Miller, said the $88 million sale may prove a remedy to the shortage of super-high-end apartments, as other owners of high-profile apartments test the waters to see what their own home could fetch. [WSJ]