When it came time to sell his Upper East Side home, townhouse guru Jed H. Garfield knew exactly who to call.
Garfield, whose brokerage, Leslie J. Garfield, specializes in townhouse sales, turned to one of his own brokers, Lydia Rosengarten, to sell his home at 510 East 89th Street. In return, Rosengarten earned her boss $6.4 million (minus commission), records show.
“Lydia’s been covering that neighborhood for a long time and she knows who’s shopping,” said Garfield, who has sold well over 600 townhouses in his career but said he didn’t like the idea of representing his own property.
“I can negotiate for other people; I’m a little less good at doing it for myself,” he added.
The four-story, five-bedroom townhouse was built in 1901 but recently renovated. It has a finished basement with a powder room and its roof can be transformed into a terrace, according to the home’s $6.6 million listing. The buyers, listed in records as Michael and Elizabeth Mangan, will also have outdoor space in the form of a 50-foot landscaped garden.
Garfield and his wife, Karen, are moving across town to The Belnord, a luxury condo building at 225 West 86th Street closer to Central Park.
The city’s townhouse market has been on fire lately, with record-setting sales last month in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene and parts of Lower Manhattan. Townhouses have thus far appeared impervious to headwinds facing the broader luxury sector amid rising interest rates and stock market uncertainty, according to Mathew Lesser, another Garfield agent, who told The Real Deal recently that townhouse buyers tend to be less sensitive to rising rates than other luxury buyers and still want the outdoor space and privacy that put single-family homes in high demand during the pandemic.
Demand in Yorkville is being driven by families who want to be near the neighborhood’s private schools, according to Rosengarten, who said the market has been hot as buyers who fled during the pandemic settle back into the city for the long haul.
“When something comes on in the $6 million range in move-in condition, I feel like it’s a hot commodity,” she said. “There are things that sit on the market in the $7 [million] to $8 million range, so I think the buyer pool is smaller for that, but when you notch it down a bit you hit the jackpot.”
Garfield said he’s moving because he and his wife will soon be empty nesters, not because of the strong market.
“I’m aware the market is good but I don’t lead my life like that,” he said. “I didn’t make a great trade… my buy was roughly the same price as my sell.”