Four Nor’easters in three weeks have done little to dampen the determination of Manhattan’s luxury house hunters in March, though activity sank 15% in the first quarter overall, according to the Olshan Report on Monday.
Twenty-four contracts were signed for homes priced at $4 million or more in the week ending Sunday, according to the weekly report by Olshan Realty. It’s the eighth consecutive week of luxury activity breaking the 20-contract benchmark, the report noted.
In spite of dismal weather, March has pulled the rest of the quarter up to some extent since luxury activity sank considerably in January and February.
Through Sunday, the first quarter recorded 282 contracts, a 15% decline over the same period last year, when 330 such properties found buyers, according to the report.
The first quarter also underscored a trend in the market that has been playing out for about a year: Sellers are finally bending to market pressure to negotiate deals on homes that have languished on the market for over a year.
In the first quarter, the average luxury home was on the market for 469 days—about a year and four months—and went into contract after a 10% price drop.
“Putting it all together, in my opinion, the luxury market is screaming overpriced!” wrote Donna Olshan, president of Olshan Realty and author of the report.
Meanwhile, weekly transactions volume, the value of all contracts, peaked in mid-February when three $40 million units at 432 Park Avenue went into contract in a single week.
Last week, the most expensive home to find a buyer was a penthouse at 72 Mercer St. in SoHo, asking nearly $14 million. The seller originally wanted nearly $17 million for the four-bedroom home, but chopped the price down over the past three years.
The second-most expensive contract signed was for a 19th-floor unit at 1049 Fifth Ave., asking $12.5 million. The condo overlooking the Central Park reservoir has three bedrooms, a media room and two terraces.
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