New development contracts topped pre-Covid levels in February

Discounts spurred luxury sales in Manhattan, but were harder to come by in Brooklyn

From left: Jeff Blau and Gary Barnett with 300 West 30th Street, 450 Washington, and 1 City Point
From left: Jeff Blau and Gary Barnett with 300 West 30th Street, 450 Washington, and 1 City Point (Getty,1 City Point, 300 W 30, 1 City Point)

The city’s new development market is continuing to gather steam in the new year after a slowdown that began last summer.

New development contract signings posted seasonal highs in February, with demand in Manhattan returning to levels not seen since last July.

Buyers signed 249 contracts for newly built or newly converted apartments last month, an 18 percent jump from January and a 6 percent increase from pre-pandemic levels, according to data firm Marketproof. 

“The rise in contract volume from January into February is not just the expected seasonal increase,” wrote Marketproof CEO Kael Goodman, author of the report, “but momentum building within the new development market,” which discounts have helped to spur.

In Manhattan, sponsors made 126 deals. Nearly ten percent of them were at a single building: 450 Washington on the West Side, which Related Companies converted from rentals known as Truffles Tribeca. Of the 12 units that went into contract last month, half were asking more than $4 million each, including a penthouse listed at $17.3 million.

Top closings in the borough last month included a four-bedroom unit at SJP Properties’ 200 Amsterdam at $4,500 per square foot, a three-bedroom at Extell Development’s Central Park Tower at $5,300 per square foot and a four-bed at Icon Realty’s Beckford Tower on the Upper East Side at $3,700 per square foot. Discounts ranged from 10 to 23 percent on the units, which all sold for north of $15 million.

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A condo project at 300 West 30th Street near Penn Station — the first offering by Queens-based Hiwin Group USA — sold the second highest number of units last month. Nine apartments there went into contract asking between $1 million and $2.2 million each.

Sales in Brooklyn matched pre-pandemic demand and contracts jumped 44 percent compared to January. Extell’s Brooklyn Point and a condo project in Flatbush each led the way with nine contracts. Nest Seekers International took over sales of the Flatbush project, dubbed the Newkirk at 458 East 25th Street, from Douglas Elliman’s Eklund Gomes team in August. 

Brooklyn Point notched the three biggest contracts with units priced between $3.5 and $3.7 million. 

In all, the borough saw 101 new contract signings last month, and discounts were harder to come by than in Manhattan. The top three closings sold for between $1,500 and $2,000 per square foot. 

The two best-selling buildings in Queens were at 133 Beach 116th Street, overlooking Rockaway Beach, and Skyline Tower at 3 Court Square in Long Island City. The borough’s largest closing was a three-bedroom, two-bath unit at 4530 Pearson Street in Long Island City for $2.4 million.

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