Sales of $15M-and-up homes on track for NYC record: PHOTOS

Over past year, 30 percent of top-dollar transactions concentrated in new developments

July 25, 2014 08:00AM
By Julie Strickland

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The number of sales of single-family properties in New York City at or above $15 million hit a new post-recession high over the past 12 months, with 76 closed sales at that price point recorded throughout the five boroughs.

At the current pace, $15 million-and-up sales are on track to set an all-time record in 2014, Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of appraisal firm Miller Samuel told The Real Deal.

The last time the number of deals at that threshold was this high was in 2008, when 90 sales at or above $15 million were recorded, according to ACRIS data.

Of the 76 closed sales at or above $15 million, 24 were located in new condominium developments, the data show. And that number, currently accounting for roughly 30 percent of the last year’s sales in the price bracket, is expected to continue to rise.

“I think that [number] is undercounting, in the sense that there’s a lot of product just starting to close now,” Miller said. “That’s going to occur with increasing frequency, so I would suspect that the $15 million-plus market will be more like 50 percent new development, if not more.”

The push for both higher price points and buyer interest in new high-end development is driven by two main factors, Miller said: costly land on which increasingly expensive residential product is being built, and a global phenomenon of international investors seeking a safe haven for their capital.

“I like to say we’re building the world’s most expensive safety deposit boxes,” Miller quipped.

At the top of the chart was the $70 million purchase of an apartment at 960 Fifth Avenue, an all-time record for a co-op. Another co-op deal for $70 million, at 740 Park, appears to have not yet hit public records.

Still, the $15 million threshold represents an upper echelon of the market that is increasingly detached from the mainstream. While there is more product at that point than in past years it still represents only the top 0.7 percent of all closed sales — less than 1 percent of the entire market.

Sales at or above $15 million over the last year were all also concentrated in Manhattan. The priciest property sale in Brooklyn — a three-bedroom townhouse at 12 College Place in Brooklyn Heights — went for $8.67 million in November, while the priciest in Queens — a seven-bedroom house at 72 Tennis Place in Flushing — sold for $4.3 million that same month. The highest sales in both Staten Island and the Bronx were under $3 million.

For all of the last year’s sales at or above $15 million in New York City, see the chart below.

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