Outdoor space seals deal in tough luxury market

Just three contracts signed in Manhattan last week for homes seeking $4M or more

the 2 Waterline Square condo and 173 Perry Street #4N (Credit: Corcoran, Realtor)
the 2 Waterline Square condo and 173 Perry Street #4N (Credit: Corcoran, Realtor)

When a buyer was weighing whether to make an offer at GID Development’s 2 Waterline Square condo in early March, one thing tipped the balance.

“The terrace was the reason he bought this,” said Corcoran Sunshine’s Norma-Jean Callahan, who along with Jose Alvarez is representing the developer.

The deal was one of only three above $4 million in Manhattan last week, according to the latest market report from Olshan Realty. The pandemic has not only rattled an already fragile luxury market, but Callahan told Donna Olshan it had changed the priorities of buyers, too.

“Outdoors space is always seductive,” Olshan said. “But if you’re working in Manhattan in a pandemic environment, it might be viewed by the buyer as even more valuable than before.”

The 2,018 square-foot unit at the Waterline condo went into contract asking $5.5 million. It features three bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms and a 1,149-square-foot terrace. Callahan said the buyer visited the property twice before putting in an offer.

The second-priciest deal last week was unit 4N at 173 Perry Street, which went into contract asking $4.595 million — down from $5.590 million.

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Last week’s trio of deals in the $4 million-and-up Manhattan home market was just one more than the previous week — part of a wider slowdown in deals caused by the shutdown.

In the last nine weeks, just 25 luxury contracts have been signed for properties asking a total of $182 million. In the same period last year, 207 contracts were signed for homes seeking a combined $1.7 billion. That’s a nearly 90 percent drop in both metrics.

In addition to buyers changing their priorities, developers are also changing their marketing. At Waterline Square, Callahan said it now emphasizes the building’s “hospital-grade rated” air and water filtration system. At Extell’s One Manhattan Square, the developer is offering sweeping discounts “in response to global conditions related to Covid-19.”

Write to Sylvia Varnham O’Regan at so@therealdeal.com