The former Upper East Side home of the late financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was the highest residential contract inked in Manhattan last week.
The deal was one of 36 luxury contracts — asking $4 million or more — signed in the first week of March, according to Olshan Realty’s weekly report. It marks the fifth consecutive week that 30 or more luxury deals were inked.
Donna Olshan, the report’s author, said the market’s pace is nearly on par with 2015 levels, with some notable caveats.
“The big difference is that the discounts are three times as great and the marketing time is three times as great,” she explained. “A lot of [the volume] has to do with discounts.”
Among last week’s contracts, the properties were listed for an average of 551 days, and the average discount from original to final asking price for the contracts was 12 percent.
The Epstein property is a prime example: It went into contract with an asking price of $65 million, far below the $88 million it was listed for last summer. Brokers at the time described the initial ask as “aggressive,” due to the timing and the property’s dated aesthetic (including much of Epstein’s furniture), which would likely prompt a buyer to renovate.
The Wall Street Journal reported last week the final sales price is closer to $50 million.
The second priciest contract signed last week had a more moderate discount.
Philanthropist Courtney Ross listed her penthouse at 7 Hubert Street for $18.5 million in August; it went into contract asking a slightly lower $17.85 million. Ross, the widow of the late Warner Communications chief executive, Steve Ross, bought the condo in 2010 for $11.5 million.
Twenty-three of last week’s deals were for condominiums, continuing a trend that began in the final quarter of 2020 when the sales of new development condos picked up. In the past 11 weeks, 70 percent of the 297 luxury contracts signed were condos; 56 percent of those 208 condos were being sold by developers, per Olshan.