Just six properties in Manhattan above $4 million went into contract last week, the slowest start to August by deal volume in more than a decade.
One of those homes belonged to Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon. When she listed her Chelsea duplex in late July, the interest was immediate. But it may not have been all about star power.
Spanning more than 6,000 square feet, with five bedrooms and an outdoor terrace, the home’s ample space was enough of a draw to energize an otherwise sleepy market.
“There were five local families with school-age children who visited,” Mara Flash Blum of Sotheby’s International Realty told Donna Olshan in an interview for Olshan’s weekly market report. Blum, who had the listing with Nikki Field, said “young families all wanted space for the children to be home-schooled, and they also wanted space for home offices.”
The home was last asking $7.9 million.
“We are definitely in the dog days of summer; it’s August and it’s slow,” Olshan said. “Sprinkle on top of that, the pandemic [and] …. this is going to be a long slog out of this problem.”
Although Sarandon’s home went into contract just two weeks after it was listed, it was not the priciest deal last week. That distinction went to a butter-colored townhouse at 307 East 10th Street — last asking $8.9 million.
The 25-foot wide home, which had been divided into five rental units, has seven bedrooms and five bathrooms, according to a listing. The asking price was reduced from $9.4 million when it was listed in January.
Luxury sales in Manhattan have tumbled since March, and that volatility has persisted even after the toughest lockdown restrictions were loosened, and brokers resumed in-person showings.
But while Manhattan’s luxury market has been struggling to gain ground, Brooklyn and the suburbs have been surging, according to a Douglas Elliman report into July contracts.
Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel said the suburbs were likely reaping the rewards of Manhattan’s decline, as wealthy buyers go in search of outdoor space and swimming pools.
“The pricing is so much higher in the city that its equivalent tends to be the upper ends of the suburban market,” he said, “and they seem to be benefiting.”
Write to Sylvia Varnham O’Regan at [email protected]