Manhattan luxury contracts continue winning streak

Twelfth consecutive week that over 30 luxury deals inked in the borough

Phyllis Newman and her Central Park duplex. (Brown Harris Stevens, Getty)
Phyllis Newman and her Central Park duplex. (Brown Harris Stevens, Getty)

Manhattan’s luxury market logged another banner week, marking three months of elevated contract activity.

There were 56 contracts signed for properties asking $4 million or more last week, according to Olshan Realty’s report. That’s up from 47 contracts the week before.

It was the 12th consecutive week that more than 30 luxury contracts were inked in the borough, the longest period of time for that level of activity since the report’s author, Donna Olshan, began tracking the market in 2006.

“It’s breathtaking,” said Olshan. She noted that the activity is striking in light of the fact that foreign buyers are not a huge force in the market due to limitations on global travel.

“We are operating on a half tank of gas,” she said.

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The most expensive contract signed was for a penthouse at Silverstein Properties’ 30 Park Place. The 4,538-square-foot condo is one of the building’s final unsold sponsor units. It has three bedrooms, along with four outdoor terraces spanning a combined 732 square feet. Silverstein had initially listed the unit for $30 million, but the price was reduced to $25 million by the time it went into contract.

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The second priciest deal was the former Upper West Side home of the late Broadway star Phyllis Newman and playwright and lyricist Adolph Green, who died in 2002. The couple owned a duplex at the Beresford, the legendary co-op at 211 Central Park West where neighbors included actors Lauren Bacall and Glenn Close, and more recently comedian Jerry Seinfeld. The apartment has three bedrooms, a library and 42-foot terrace overlooking Central Park. The estate of Newman, who died in 2019, listed the unit for $24 million in November 2019. It was reduced to $19.5 million before finding a buyer.

Among the 56 deals signed last week, the average discount from the original asking price to the final ask was 11 percent. Properties spent 614 days on the market on average.

Condos accounted for 44 of the contracts, with nine co-ops and three townhouses making up the rest.

Olshan pointed to the ratio of condos to co-op contracts as a concern.

Last week, there were four condos found buyers for every co-op, and Olshan said that trend applies to luxury contracts signed year-to-date. There have been 406 luxury contracts for condos, compared to just 107 co-op contracts.

“This is not a one-week phenomenon,” she said. “This is an alarming trend of deterioration in the co-op market.”