$22M pad at 111 West 57th tops Manhattan luxury market

Discounts narrowed, time on market decreased as contract volume slowed last week

111 West 57th & 30 East 29th Street here (Kelly Behun Model Residence | Nicole Franzen, CORE)
111 West 57th & 30 East 29th Street here (Kelly Behun Model Residence | Nicole Franzen, CORE)

Early December brought frosty temperatures to New York and cooled down Manhattan’s luxury contract signings.

Deals dropped to 34 contracts signed for homes asking $4 million or more in the borough between Nov. 29 and Dec. 5 — the lowest in nine weeks — according to Olshan Realty’s weekly report. The total sales volume was just under $265 million with buyers agreeing to purchase 24 condo units (13 sold by developers), eight co-op units and two townhouses.

The figure comes after two notable weeks. The week of Thanksgiving hit total sale volumes of $315 million, the best holiday period Olshan has on record, and the $613 million recorded the prior week, the highest total volume since 2013.

But Donna Olshan, the report’s author, said last week’s haul tracks surprisingly well compared to the first week of December in years past. In the same period in 2020, there were only 21 contracts signed valued at almost $176 million. In 2019, there were 19 at $160 million.

“We would expect at this time of year a slower velocity of sales,” said Olshan, but she noted that expectations based on previous years no longer hold much water. “We’ll just have to see because the pandemic put the calendar on its head and there’s no rhyme or reason.”

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The top contract was the 34th floor at 111 West 57th Street, JDS Development Group, Property Markets Group and Spruce Capital Partners’ supertall condo on Billionaires’ Row. The 4,492-square-foot unit was last asking $21.5 million. The three-bedroom residence includes a 37-foot great room and a 21-foot den, both facing Central Park.

The second most expensive unit was a duplex unit at 30 East 29th Street asking $20 million. The 4,657-square-foot, four-bedroom unit has a 39-foot great room, a media room and three terraces that span a combined 919 square feet.

Though the luxury market stepped back in terms of volume of sales, discounts and time on market dropped last week. The average discount from the original ask to the final one was 2 percent for the second week in a row. Over the past month, the average price drop has fallen to 4 percent, from 9 percent and the average days on market dropped to 472, down from 575.

Olshan called the indicators a positive sign for the market.

“Inventory is starting to be chewed away in certain sectors of the market and people are being a little more realistic,” she said, referring to sellers’ acceptance of offers.