The Real Deal New York

Editor’s note from the November/December 2014 issue of Luxury Listings NYC

By Stuart Elliott | November 06, 2014 07:00AM

Is there anything more painful than trying to buy a gift for the person who has everything?

If you are like me, when each holiday season rolls around, you might find yourself reluctantly buying a different version of the same sweater, scarf or fancy pen that you’ve given a number of times in the past to someone you love, despite all your best intentions.

Take comfort then in our holiday gift guide, starting on page 10, which has the coolest, newest and hippest gifts for nearly everyone on your list.

From an interactive lamp-and-speaker system that creates a “thundercloud” in the middle of your apartment, to a machine that freshens tired clothes at the push of a button, we feature presents for the home that are sure to get the creative gift-giving juices flowing.

Those gifts top out at $50,000, but if you are looking for something a bit pricier, why not give a townhouse this holiday season? (Just wrap it in a giant bow; I’m sure this has been done by a Russian oligarch or two.)

After all, Manhattan real estate is the gift that keeps on giving, growing more valuable over time. And townhouses are a relative bargain these days, at least compared with all the new condo towers rising around town, which are asking astronomical prices. For high-end buyers looking to get the maximum amount of space in a prime Manhattan neighborhood for the least amount of money, townhouses are increasingly attractive — check out page 18.

All told, it’s been a banner year for New York City real estate, and you can check out some of the records set on page 89, including the most ever paid for a rental apartment in New York (a whopping $250,000 a month) and the tallest residential building ever built in the Western Hemisphere (432 Park Avenue, which you can now see from everywhere). Still, the good times might be coming to an end — see our report about the possible bubble forming in the luxury market on page 36.

If you want to head south for the winter, Miami is seeing it own heated real estate market, but it’s still a lot cheaper than Manhattan. We survey some of the standout new buildings rising, many by starchitects like Rem Koolhaas and Richard Meier. It is exciting stuff in a city that’s increasingly cosmopolitan.

Of course, if a new property isn’t going to wind up in your stocking this year, we can help you work with what you’ve got and maximize space for any guests that arrive. Whether you have the luxury of a spare bedroom or just a spare sofa, we offer advice on being a great host on page 30.

Finally, while a spare bedroom can be nice, a private parking spot in your building can be even nicer — and more rare. We survey the parking scene, where prices can run up to $1.5 million to buy a spot in some new buildings (that is more than five times the average price of a home in the U.S.). See page 28 for this story. And among the homes with their very own parking spaces — right next to their high-floor apartment — is the lavish pad of top interior designer Jamie Drake. We take a peek inside, starting on page 24.

Last but not least, we go inside the home of Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle. Her modern apartment on the Upper West Side might not look like the kind of place where conservative colleague Bill O’Reilly would go to dinner, probably, but it’s a glittering space for her and her son. We learn more about the host and her home on page 14.

Enjoy the issue.