Manhattan’s 11 luxury contracts are half previous week’s total

Fluctuations persist as market slowly rallies in “virus-dependent economy”

823 Park Avenue and 601 Washington Street (Photos via Google Maps; 601 Washington)
823 Park Avenue and 601 Washington Street (Photos via Google Maps; 601 Washington)

Buyers signed contracts for 11 luxury properties in Manhattan last week — almost 50 percent less than the previous week, a stretch that saw the highest number of deals since March.

The week-to-week drop underscores the market’s uneven path to revival, as high-end buyers slowly return to Manhattan but economic instability remains a concern.

“Every week is different and there is no trend line other than the fact that we are living in a virus-dependent economy,” said Donna Olshan, who tracks luxury deals in a weekly report. “I think the expectation is we are going to have a very, very choppy market.”

Luxury deals in Manhattan have been trending downward for several years, however the statewide shutdown in March squeezed the market so tightly that deals slowed to an average of just four per week, according to Olshan. Since the shutdown ended in June, deals have been averaging 11 per week.

In the past month, luxury brokers have reported an uptick in interest and activity, and several big-ticket properties have sold, including a $20 million penthouse at Related Companies’ High Line condominium and a $35 million penthouse at 421 Broome Street — both with sizable discounts.

But it may take some time for the market to get back to where it was: The current weekly average falls well below both the 2019 weekly average of 18, as well as the 2018 average of 21.

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The priciest deal last week was a sixth-floor unit at 823 Park Avenue, last asking $9.9 million. The owner of the 4,184 square-foot unit bought it for $11.7 million in 2007.

Emily Beare of Core, who represented the family that bought the unit, told Oshan they had been looking before the pandemic but had put things on hold. They visited the property three times.

“They were uptown people,” she said. “It was the location on Park Avenue and the square footage that sold them.”

The second-priciest deal was unit 4W at 601 Washington Street, a BKSK Architects–designed building with just 10 units.

The condo now has two penthouses remaining for sale, both asking more than $30 million.

Brett Miles of Douglas Elliman, who listed unit 4W with Jade Chan, told Olshan that “good products in the West Village can survive any market.”