In the grip of a long dry spell, the luxury market in Manhattan has seen an ever so slight flurry of activity.
Five contracts for properties above $4 million were signed last week — two more than the previous week, according to the latest market report from Olshan Realty.
“For a pandemic, we’ll take it,” said Donna Olshan, head of Olshan Realty and author of the report. “Whatever comes in, we’ll take it.”
Deals have been proceeding at the rate of a slow drip since the state shut down in late March, and weekly fluctuations, like this one, are minor.
To put the overall decline into perspective, there were 16 luxury contracts signed in May for a combined asking price of roughly $100 million. In the same time period last year, there were 111 luxury contracts signed, for a total asking value of more than $1 billion.
The priciest deal last week was for unit 5K at 155 West 11th Street, which went into contract asking $7.25 million.
The 2,024-square-foot condo was sold in an off-market deal by the estate of late Corcoran Group broker Robby Browne, who bought the property as an investment in 2017 for $6.6 million.
Browne, a celebrated figure in New York real estate, battled cancer for many years and later contracted coronavirus. He died in April.
His former partners at Corcoran, Chris Kann and Maria Pashby, represented the estate in the transaction. Kann told Olshan the buyers bought the unit based on photographs and floorplans, owing to restrictions on in-person showings.
“The people had visited the building and were familiar with the apartments and were ready to move forward,” he said. “The unit is the highest floor you can get in this section of the building before it becomes penthouses, and it has a clear view overlooking townhouses to the Freedom Tower.”
The second priciest deal last week was a four-bedroom co-op at 1100 Park Avenue, which went into contract asking $6.95 million after it was listed in May.
The unit includes a 60-foot terrace, which the buyers’ broker, Michele Kleier of Kleier Residential said made all the difference to her clients, who had not seen the unit in person.
“I sent them pictures and floorplans” she told Olshan. “They very much wanted a terrace with what’s going on now, not being able to go anywhere and wanting fresh air.”
Write to Sylvia Varnham O’Regan at [email protected]