Ranking the top 20 home sales on the Upper East Side
A breakdown of the biggest deals and historical price trends
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The richest home sales on the Upper East Side in the past 12 months included a co-op that sold for 50 percent over ask, a six-floor mansion discounted 27 percent and an exit from a failed condo conversion.
To rank the priciest purchases in Manhattan’s poshest precincts, The Real Deal examined all the luxury residential sales ($1 million or more) recorded since April 1, 2021, in Lenox Hill, Yorkville, the Upper East Side, Carnegie Hill and Upper Carnegie Hill, which make up the broadly defined, park-to-river Upper East Side area. (See neighborhood maps at end of story.)
The biggest deal east of Central Park was for a 12-room, three-floor penthouse at 2 East 88th Street, which sold last August for $60 million — $20 million over ask — in the biggest co-op sale since 2015. The eye-popping premium stemmed from a bidding war between five billionaires, according to listing agent Nikki Field of Sotheby’s.
The second largest sale was the opposite story: A six-floor mansion at 12 East 63rd Street sold for $56 million six years after it was listed for $77 million. But the deal still made money for seller Greenwood Properties, which bought the property for less than $20 million in 2010.
Next was the $53.5 million sale of a townhouse at 11 East 69th Street by real estate investor David Levinson, chairman and CEO of L&L Holding. Levinson purchased the six-story property for $9.5 million in 2004 when it was an office building and spent $20 million converting it into a single-family home.
Bette Midler and Martin von Haselberg sold their triplex at 1125 Fifth Avenue for $45 million, good for fourth place. The married couple originally listed the home for $50 million in 2019.
Rounding out the top five was a three-bedroom condo at 520 Park Avenue that fetched $36 million. The unit was originally part of a 9,138-square-foot duplex that listed for $83 million before being split into two dwellings. The other unit sold in 2019 for $32 million, making the combined take $68 million.
Other top 20 deals of note included the $32.2 million sale of 39 East 72nd Street, the mansion where the late Gloria Vanderbilt grew up, after a group of investors failed to convert it into condos, and a double-wide mansion at 160 East 81st Street that sold for $22.7 million to Suzy Welch, the widow of former General Electric CEO Jack Welch.
Lenox Hill, the largest neighborhood of the Upper East Side area, had the most luxury sales, with 632 of the 1,999 deals recorded, and seven of the top 20 — the most of any of the five enclaves. But the much smaller Upper East Side neighborhood came in a close second with 606 luxe deals, including six of the top 20. And the area’s namesake neighborhood actually bested Lenox Hill in dollar volume, racking up $2.14 billion in luxury sales over the past year, versus Lenox Hill’s mere $2 billion.
Nearly 60 percent of the luxury sales were co-op units, and 37 percent were condos, with the remaining 66 sales being stand-alone homes. Mansions and townhouses were disproportionately represented among the priciest transactions, however. Though only about 3 percent of the luxury sales on the UES overall, townhouses made up 30 percent of the top 20 deals.
The median home price for the Upper East side area was $2.33 million in the first quarter of 2022, up 5.7 percent from the same period in 2021. But in the fourth quarter of 2021, the median price was up about 17 percent — the highest year-over-year jump since an 18 percent increase in the fourth quarter of 2018.