The estate of the late hedge funder Charles Murphy is writing down the value of his Upper East Side townhouse.
Murphy, who was a partner at investment management firm Paulson & Co., died last year after jumping from the 24th floor of the Sofitel hotel in Midtown. This week, his estate slashed the asking price of his limestone house to $29.95 million — a steep discount from the $50 million that Murphy sought in March 2016, and about $3 million less than he paid for the property in 2007.
Located at 7 East 67th Street, the 11,500-square-foot limestone house was once owned by the Foundation for Depression and Manic Depression, which sold it to Seagram heir Matthew Bronfman for $3 million in 1994. Bronfman, who gutted the 25-foot-wide townhouse, sold it to Murphy in 2007 for a then-record price of $33 million. (Before that, no townhouse narrower than 26 feet traded for more than $30 million.)
Murphy had less luck turning a profit.
He first tried to sell the home in 2009, after it was discovered that the hedge fund he worked for, Fairfield Greenwich Group, lost $7 billion with Bernie Madoff. Upon learning a neighbor was about to sell her townhouse for $25 million, Murphy tried to poach the would-be buyer. When a deal didn’t pan out, he listed the home for $37 million.
Murphy re-listed it in March 2016 asking $49.5 million, or $4,385 per foot. At $29.95 million, the current asking price works out to $2,593 per foot. Since May, Brown Harris Stevens’ Paula Del Nunzio has had the listing, along with the Corcoran Group’s Deborah Grubman, Markus Buchmeier and David Adler. Corcoran’s Carrie Chiang previously had the listing.
In general, the townhouse market had been limping along for more than a year. But a recent slew of pricey deals signaled a possible thaw in the high-end of the market.
Last month, billionaire Vincent Viola reportedly found a buyer willing to shell out $80 million for his 40-foot townhouse, located at 12 East 69th Street.
And in April 2017, an entity affiliated with HNA Holdings paid a record $79.5 million for the Wildenstein mansion at 19 East 64th Street.