No bonus bump: Luxury contracts down despite uptick in Wall Street payouts

Only 282 contracts inked in first quarter

The Wall Street Bull inside a luxury apartment
The Wall Street Bull inside a luxury apartment

It looks like heftier Wall Street bonuses aren’t helping the ultra-luxury residential market pick up the pace.

Last year, Wall Street bankers and traders received an average $184,220 in bonuses — the highest level seen since 2006, according to a report by the New York State comptroller. Meanwhile, only 282 contracts were inked for Manhattan homes priced over $4 million between January and March, a 15 percent drop from last year, according to data from Olshan Realty.

Donna Olshan, president of Olshan Realty, noted that four business days in March were “chewed out by Nor’easters,” which may have kept buyers away.

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A volatile stock market may also have those working in securities wary. From Feb. 1 through closing bell on Wednesday, the S&P 500 Financials index dropped more than 9 percent. Bankers might also be opting to hold onto their current properties rather than potentially be forced to sell at a discount.

Appraiser Jonathan Miller told the Wall Street Journal that the banking industry might be more to blame than local real estate markets.

“They always find a story about a guy who ran out and bought a Maserati with his bonus, but that’s on the margin,” he said. “On the ground, not many talk about the bonuses anymore.” [Mansion Global] — Kathryn Brenzel