After early-July lull, Manhattan luxury deals are on the upswing again

39 luxury contracts were signed last week, led by an East End Avenue penthouse asking $26M

New York /
Jul.July 26, 2021 02:00 PM
The penthouse in Lightstone's 40 East End with developer David Lichtenstein  (Lightstone)

The penthouse in Lightstone’s 40 East End with developer David Lichtenstein (Lightstone)

What summer slowdown? After a dip in contract activity among pricey Manhattan homes two weeks ago, buyers are back in full force as if nothing happened.

Last week, 39 buyers signed on the dotted line for properties asking at least $4 million, according to the Olshan Report, which tracks Manhattan luxury contract signings.

That’s up from the 33 contracts that were signed the week before and 28 from the first full week of July — a five-month low which prompted speculation as to whether a long-delayed summer lull had arrived.

The largest of last week’s contracts, for a penthouse at Lighstone’s 40 East End Avenue, could be one of the biggest deals to close in the wealthy 11-block Upper East Side enclave. The buyers, represented by Stephen Geller of Douglas Elliman, visited the property several times, according to Olshan’s report.

“The buyers started looking before Covid and came quite a few times,” listing agent Crista Villella of Corcoran Sunshine told Olshan. “This didn’t happen overnight.”

The triplex unit is almost 6,000 square feet with four bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms and four terraces, including a rooftop space outfitted with an outdoor kitchen that spans 1,866 square feet. The unit was asking just over $25.5 million.

If the transaction closes at that price, it would be the third priciest deal on East End Avenue to date, according to Donna Olshan, the report’s author. The two more expensive deals were a block south, at 20 East End, where a penthouse sold for more than $30.3 million last month and another sold for $26.3 million in 2018.

The second priciest contract signed last week was an Upper East Side townhouse once owned by billionaire George Soros’ ex-wife at 116 East 70th Street. Developer David Edelstein of TriStar Capital paid $19 million for the five-story home in 2016. He was asking $23 million. The five-bedroom townhouse has an elevator, a landscaped south-facing garden and terraces off its second-floor dining room. The buyers were from New York, according to Olshan.

The median asking price for luxury properties was $7.4 million last week and the average discount from the original to the final asking price was 9 percent.





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