For second week, Manhattan records just two luxury contracts

Market struggles as buyers retreat

New York /
Apr.April 07, 2020 09:30 AM
56 Leonard Street and 146 West 57th Street (Credit: Fruitpunchline via Wikipedia; Google Maps)

56 Leonard Street and 146 West 57th Street (Credit: Fruitpunchline via Wikipedia; Google Maps)

For the second week in a row, just two properties above $4 million went into contract last week in Manhattan.

It was a gloomy, if not somewhat expected result for the city’s brokers, who are feeling the effects of a tumbling economy. Two weeks earlier, there had been 14 contracts signed. The week before that, 21.

The most expensive deal last week was for a 5,252-square-foot penthouse at 56 Leonard Street, which went into contract asking $24.5 million — down from $29.5 million, — according to the latest market report from Olshan Realty.

Broker Elizabeth Unger of Corcoran Sunshine told the report’s author, Donna Olshan, that the property “was purchased by a local family in need of a large residence who fell in love with the building.” She declined to provide any more deals about the transaction.

Compass broker Alexander Glibbery was behind the second-priciest signing of the week — a 76th-floor unit at 146 the Metropolitan Tower on West 57th Street.

Glibbery told Olshan the deal was one of the toughest he’d ever navigated, requiring several weeks of negotiations and a $50,000 drop in price.

The Tokyo-based buyer, who was represented by Andy Kim of Nest Seekers International, saw the unit twice before the pandemic intensified. As things got worse, several bidders came forward and tried to get a discount, the report said. The final contract price was $4.3 million.

As deals in New York slow to a crawl, brokers have also had to contend with confusion about what rules apply to them. Last week, the state deemed certain real estate services “essential,” creating concern about whether brokers would be expected to resume in-person showings, which had been prohibited under the governor’s statewide stay-home order. The following day, however, the state clarified that showings could only be conducted virtually.

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


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