Manhattan’s luxury market sees most contracts signed since November

Latest Olshan luxury report shows 26 contracts above $4 million signed last week

Feb.February 03, 2020 02:45 PM
From left: 116 Sullivan Street, 109 Bank Street and 158 East 81st Street

From left: 116 Sullivan Street, 109 Bank Street and 158 East 81st Street

More Manhattan townhouses went into contract last week than any other week since June 2016.

The seven contracts — up from two the previous week — were part of a bumper week for the luxury market, which saw a total of 26 contracts signed for $231.7 million. (Luxury properties are those priced $4 million and above.)

The last time that many townhouses went into contract in one week was in June 2016, when eight contracts were signed.

“They were priced correctly,” Donna Ols

han, president of Olshan Realty and author of the report, said of the recent transactions. “Priced correctly, they go.”

Composed of seven co-ops, 11 condos and seven townhouses, the total count last week was the highest number of luxury contracts signed in Manhattan since last November, and the highest by dollar volume since last June.

“The contracts were probably being negotiated in the beginning and middle of January, and in that time, we had a robust stock market, very low interest rates and…prices coming down in the real estate market,” Olshan said. “So it creates a landscape in which people feel more confident to come in and buy.”

The numbers mark a welcome change for the luxury sector, which has been beset in recent years by flagging sales and tumbling prices. But whether the bump is a one-off or will sustain into February remains an open question.

“I think that we are probably going to have an adequate volume for the next month or two, probably through to the spring, then we’ll see,” said Jed Garfield of Leslie J. Garfield, a townhouse specialist.

Within the townhouse signings, there were some notable trends: Five of the seven were Downtown, and only one was on the market for fewer than 100 days. That property — at 158 East 81st Street — went into contract for $8.9 million, a loss on the $9.2 million the seller paid for it in 2013.

The East 81st Street property went into contract just 20 days after it was listed, while the other six townhouses were all on the market for hundreds of days. The median price was $8.9 million.

The priciest signing last week was PH11B at 90 Morton Street, which went into contract asking $31 million — up from $26.5 million when it was listed from the plans in April 2018. The 4,685-square-feet duplex has five bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms and two generous terraces.

The second priciest signing was for a ninth-floor unit at 101 Central Park West, which was listed just three weeks ago, asking $14.75 million.

The average days on the market across all 26 properties was 648.

Write to Sylvia Varnham O’Regan at [email protected]

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