In a banner year for NYC’s luxury market, these 10 priciest sales led the way

At $157M, a condo at 220 Central Park South again topped the list — but this year, it had company

2 East 88th Street, 220 Central Park South, Central Park Tower & 15 Central Park West (Wikipedia, Central Park Tower, City Realty, iStock, Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal)
2 East 88th Street, 220 Central Park South, Central Park Tower & 15 Central Park West (Wikipedia, Central Park Tower, City Realty, iStock, Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal)

2021 was a year of recovery for Manhattan’s residential market. Home sales in the borough notched their busiest quarter in recorded history. The annual luxury sales record was shattered with a full three months remaining on the calendar. A persistent glut of condo inventory finally started to fall as buyers claimed more units from the market than builders added.

Agents and developers, rejoice: New York City is back (at least, for now).

The year saw one of the largest home sales in American history, with billionaire Joe Tsai dropping $157 million on a pair of condo units at 220 Central Park South.

But unlike last year, when the building was home to all ten of the city’s priciest residential sales, this year’s top 10 deals were scattered all over town — or at least, from Soho to the Upper East Side.

Without further ado, below are details on the most expensive homes sold in New York City in 2021:

1. 220 Central Park South, Units 60 and 61 | $157 million

(Robert A.M. Stern Architects)

The priciest deal of the year went to Alibaba co-founder Joe Tsai, who closed on two condos at 220 Central Park South in June. Tsai dished out $82.5 million for unit 60 and $75 million for the unit above it — a huge leap from what the units sold for a year ago: $50.9 million and $51.4 million, respectively. At $157 million, it is believed to be the third-most-expensive sale in U.S. history. The first was just a few floors down.

2. 220 Central Park South, Units 19E and V11 | $66 million

If there’s one thing top buyers at 220 Central Park South love doing, it’s doubling up on a deal. The mystery buyer of these two units, including a duplex in the “Villas” portion of the building, shielded their identity using an LLC called 220 CPS V10 LLC. The transaction went into contract in September and closed the following month.

3. 2 East 88th Street, Penthouse 14 | $60 million

(Google Maps)

While it may be number three on the list, this prewar Carnegie Hill penthouse is number one in other ways. The highly sought-after unit was the most expensive co-op sold in Manhattan since 2015. The former home of banking scion Jacqui Safra turned out to be underpriced, selling for 50 percent above its $40 million ask. According to Sotheby’s agent Nikki Field, who represented Safra, five different billionaires made offers for the 7,000-square-foot triplex, which has 12 rooms and features a two-level wraparound terrace. It was shown for one day, and a contract was signed within 24 hours.

4. 220 Central Park South, Unit 67 | $59.5 million

Condo sales stayed hot this spring and summer, and the year’s fourth priciest sale returns us to Central Park South. The buyer of this sponsor unit is listed in property records only as Parkview RE Holdings LLC. It went into contract in mid-May and closed less than a week later.

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5. 12 East 69th Street | $59 million


A Manhattan home this large was sure to command a high price, but Vincent Viola, owner of the NHL’s Florida Panthers, spent eight years struggling to score a deal for the 20,000-square-foot townhouse before finally getting an assist from British hedge funder Alan Howard this spring. Originally listed for $114 million in 2013, the six-bedroom, nine-bathroom mansion includes an indoor swimming pool, a home theater, a panic room and a library with a painted ceiling mural and a giant, two-story etching of a Rudyard Kipling poem.

6. 9 East 71st Street | $51 million

Former Goldman Sachs executive Michael Daffey used cash and a bridge loan to buy the former Upper East Side home of disgraced financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. After hitting the market in June 2020, the 28,000-square-foot mansion received a $23 million price cut in January and went into contract weeks later. The final price equated to roughly $1,821 per square foot. Proceeds from the sale went to Epstein’s estate, which established a fund for his victims.

7. 217 West 57th Street, Unit 53 | $50 million

Speaking of price chops, this one was a doozy. A sponsor unit at Gary Barnett’s Central Park Tower sold for nearly 50 percent below its original asking price in September, but a spokesperson for Barnett’s firm, Extell Development, was “not unhappy” with that outcome — after all, it still cracked the year’s top 10 priciest sales. Boasting a 2,000-square foot terrace and outdoor pool, the four-bedroom residence was once the building’s pricest listing, but has since been upstaged by an 11,500-square-foot duplex way up on the tower’s 127th and 128th floors. That one’s asking a modest $150 million.

8. 419 Broome Street, Unit 5 | $49 million

This Soho condo has a thing for breaking records. The triplex sold for $35.1 million last October, the highest amount ever paid for a single residence in the neighborhood, according to appraiser Jonathan Miller. But just over a year later, it broke its own record by a staggering 40 percent, selling for $49 million in November. It was the city’s most expensive closing in the month of November, and the priciest downtown sale all year.

9. 217 West 57th Street, Unit 109 | $48 million

Central Park Tower’s other contender also received a hefty price cut. The home was originally listed for $78.1 million but sold for just under $48 million. The buyer who managed to cop such a deal was listed as Simatai LLC. It was one of several units in the tower to sell for far below their offering prices ahead of the maturity of the building’s $900 million construction loan at year’s end, but Gary Barnett isn’t calling them discounts.

“The market knows that everything is fluid,” the developer told TRD in October.

10. 15 Central Park West, Unit 1819A | $47 million

Rounding out the list of biggest deals is a Robert A.M. Stern-designed penthouse at 15 Central Park West. Biotech entrepreneur Lindsay Rosenwald sold the 5,902-square-foot duplex to an unnamed buyer this spring. Though the home was hit with a few price chops, Brown Harris Stevens agent Felise Gross was satisfied with the deal: The closing sale price was still significantly higher than the $30.5 million Rosenwald paid for the unit in 2008.

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