UES townhouse once described as “infested with vermin” goes into contract

Twin townhouses, which went into contract together, are the second priciest signing last week

TRD New York /
Feb.February 11, 2020 08:00 AM
166 E. 81st St. (Credit: Google Maps, iStock)

166 E. 81st St. (Credit: Google Maps, iStock)

For Georgia couple Darrell and Tara Mays, their New York City dreams turned to nightmares after they realized their $43,000-per-month rental townhouse was infested with rodents.

According to a lawsuit filed last year, the couple became “prisoners” in the property who were forced to choose between staying at home to deal with “newly dead” rodents, or taking vacations and coming back to the “toxic stench of decomposed vermin.”

But the drama seems to be over for the owners of 166 East 81st Street, which went into contract last week along with a neighboring property at 179 East 80th Street with a combined asking price of $17.9 million — down from an original asking price of $28 million. (The owners could not be reached for comment. Compass broker Alexander Daigh, who had the listing, declined to comment.)

Combined, the dual signing was the second priciest above $4 million last week, according to the latest luxury report from Olshan Realty. There were 21 signings in total.

It was the second week in a row that contract signings had been high, following disappointing figures in January, according to Olshan.

“What we’re seeing is the market is moving once, on average, the original asking price comes down 10 percent,” said Donna Olshan, who authors the report.

Drops in prices seem to have been a long time coming: While sales in the past six weeks were up 22 percent on the previous year, the average days on market in the same period was 604.

“It’s taking sellers an awfully long time to realize they’re at the wrong price,” Olshan said.

The number-one signing last week was PHB at The Shepherd on 275 West 10th Street, which went into contract asking $20.95 million — down from $24.5 million asking in 2015.

The 4,763-square-feet property has four bedrooms, four bathrooms and three terraces.

Last week’s total contracts — six co-ops, 12 condos and three townhouses — had a combined asking value of $163 million.

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


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