UES townhouse trades 40% below latest appraisal

Once valued at $22M, property sold for just over $13M

Sharon Davis and 9 East 81 Street (Google Maps, iStock)
Sharon Davis and 9 East 81 Street (Google Maps, iStock)

Architect Sharon Davis realized no one would pay the appraised $22 million for her Upper East Side townhouse. But she may not have expected the market to soften as much as it did.

The renovated, 6,150-square-foot home on East 81 Street sold for $13.175 million, or $2,142 per square foot, according to property records. The buyer, PGG Holdings LP, an entity linked to a law firm in Jackson, Wyoming, went into contract early this month and closed the deal last Wednesday.

The price is a 40 percent drop from the $22 million appraised value of the townhouse in 2014, when Davis’ ex-husband transferred ownership over. It’s also a 34 percent drop from Davis’ initial ask.

When the architect went to sell the house in 2018, she acknowledged in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that the market had softened. It doesn’t appear that the home was publicly listed, but Davis said her asking price was $19.95 million, or about $3,244 per foot.

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It’s unclear if any brokers were involved, though Stribling & Associates had the listing in 2018, according to the Journal.

Appraiser Jonathan Miller said that drop “doesn’t sound out of context” with the high-end market, where prices have fallen at least 40 percent compared to seven years ago. He pointed to the recent sale at Extell Development’s One57 tower, where a unit was sold at a 51 percent loss, as one example.

“I’m not suggesting that all townhouses are seeing this kind of correction but this is within the context of the upper end of the market…and [townhouses are a] subset of the Manhattan luxury market,” he said.

But Miller noted that the $22 million transfer may not have been equivalent to the “fair market value,” as appraisals done for a transfer between related parties aren’t always in step with market prices.

Regardless, the architect walked away in the black. In the Journal interview, Davis estimated that she and her ex-husband had paid about $4 million for the house when they bought it in 1994. The purchase price could not be verified in public records, and Davis did not respond to a request for comment.