Four townhouse deals boost Manhattan’s luxury market

Last week’s total surpasses same week in 2019

78 Morton Street and 25 Columbus Avenue (Google Maps, Corcoran) 
78 Morton Street and 25 Columbus Avenue (Google Maps, Corcoran)

Manhattan’s luxury residential market is notoriously fickle, but the pandemic has made things even more unpredictable.

A dozen properties listed above $4 million went into contract in the first week of July, tying for the highest total in the pandemic period. A third of the properties were townhouses.

The number was four more than last week and three more than the same week in 2019, illustrating the weakness in the market even before the coronavirus.

Donna Olshan, head of Olshan Realty and author of the report, said the chaotic times make it difficult to identify trends, but some early signs stuck out.

“I’m not really noticing that much of a give in prices that you would expect,” she said. “What I’m also seeing is that the inventory seems tight, particularly in certain areas like the Upper West Side.”

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Listings plunged when the pandemic hit, which has allowed owners who are selling despite economic headwinds to refrain from offering big discounts.

The priciest contract last week was for a former firehouse at 78 Morton Street, last asking $21.8 million. Once it closes, the deal will be one of the most expensive Downtown homes to sell this year, according to Olshan’s report. Marketing for the property has boasted of a garage large enough for four cars.

The second-priciest was unit 65C at 25 Columbus Avenue, which went into contract asking $12.9 million. The seller bought it for $15.95 million in 2008, and listed it for $17.25 million in 2017, as the city’s luxury market began a swoon that has lasted several years.

Spanning 3,050 square feet, the condo has three bedrooms, a 40-foot living room and views of Central Park.

Write to Sylvia Varnham O’Regan at