Priciest contract of 2020 is outlier in slumping luxury market

Penthouse pair fetches $45 million, but overall 2020 is looking much like last year

Feb.February 24, 2020 02:45 PM
45 East 22nd Street

45 East 22nd Street

A pair of penthouses that went into contract for a reported $45 million last week marked the priciest signing of the year so far.

The trophy units at Ian Bruce Eichner’s Madison Square Park Tower — a package deal totaling 13,060 feet — were first listed in 2014 for $77 million, then at $52 million. The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the deal, said the buyer was a wealthy individual from Asia.

The signing was one of 18 above $4 million in Manhattan last week, according to the latest luxury report from Olshan Realty. It was a relatively high total, given the holiday weekend and recent market struggles, but still paled compared with last year’s 28 and 2018’s 29.

Overall, 134 contracts have been signed this year, just one ahead of last year’s pace. By comparison, 203 luxury contracts were signed in the same eight-week period in 2015.

“What the market is saying is we’re still in a long slog,” said Donna Olshan, head of Olshan Realty and author of the report. “We’re going into a spring market and at the same time we’re facing a coronavirus [stock market] crash. So, how that reverberates throughout the real estate market, we’ll see.”

The latest figures again laid bare developers’ struggles moving inventory in an overstocked market. The average number of days on the market between the first price listing and the last one before a contract was signed was 469, the report said.

Eichner, who told the Journal his tower at 45 East 22nd Street was now more than 90 percent sold, said he has “no plans to do another residential condominium in New York City for the foreseeable future.”

The second priciest signing last week was a 4,073 square-foot penthouse at Alexico Group’s Laurel building at 400 East 67th Street, which features two landscaped terraces and an outdoor kitchen.

Its final asking price of $12 million was down from an original asking of $15.45 million. The seller bought the building in 2011 for $11.2 million.

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

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