A slew of high-end properties in Manhattan entered the market around the U.S. Independence Day holiday.
Although unusual for a slow summer holiday week, motivated sellers might have decided to take advantage of low inventory and increasing numbers of wealthy buyers in town, among other factors, to present their luxury homes.
A half-floor, 5,475-square-foot residence in One57, the first completed luxury residential tower on Manhattan’s Billionaires’ Row on 57th Street, was relisted on Thursday for $29.95 million.
The apartment first came on the market in July 2015 for $31.75 million by the developer, Gary Barnett’s Extell Development. Over the last two years, the developer signed on two brokerages and agreed to drop the price to $29.95 million at the end of 2016.
Without a successful sale, the developer took the listing off the market in June and dropped the brokerage. Now it’s marketed by its own team.
Coincidentally, another apartment for a similar price at 432 Park Avenue, also on Billionaires’ Row, was relisted right after the holiday. The owner closed the apartment for $27.1 million last year and put it back on the market for $30.9 million Wednesday.
It’s not just luxury apartments on Billionaires’ Row that came on the market during the holiday week. A 6,448-square-foot pad at 53 West 53rd St. hit the market for $43.95 million. In addition, a six-story townhouse on East 78th Street, owned by luxury developer Aby Rosen for the past 13 years, became available Wednesday.
Overall Market Confidence Has Improved
Data prepared for Mansion Global by CityRealty show that from June 30 to July 6, there were 27 listings priced for at least $4 million to hit the market in Manhattan, bringing the total number of luxury listings to 2,415, with a median price of $10.26 million. By comparison, 2,269 luxury homes were available for sale last July, with a median asking price of $10.05 million.
The uptick in luxury listings isn’t caused totally by a few new developments, said Gabby Warshawer, director of research at CityRealty, a New York-based real estate web site. “It’s more market-wide, indicating a certain amount of confidence the sellers have,” she said.
All indicators point to a strong summer market in Manhattan this year, noted Dolly Lenz, a broker and chief executive of the eponymous firm Dolly Lenz Real Estate.
Big-Ticket Summer Sales Do Happen
Often times, sellers wait until after the summer to list, “but some developers can’t wait and they list,” said Donna Olshan, president of Olshan Realty and publisher of a weekly report on Manhattan’s $4-million-and-plus sales.
And deals do happen if prices are right. However, “we have seen the number of contracts signed taper off in the last few weeks, but this is typical during holiday weeks,” Ms. Olshan pointed out.
While individual owners sell whenever they are ready, developers of new residential towers tend to time the market more strategically. “They try to get ahead of the competition from inventory slated to come onto the market,” Ms. Lenz said.
New Developments Time Offerings to Avoid Inventory Cluster
More mega new development units are in the pipeline for the rest of 2017. One57’s developer Extell Development, for one, was approved in May to launch sales at Central Park Tower, its next ultra-luxury condo tower on Billionaires’ Row. Slated for completion in 2020, the building will rise 1,550-feet high, becoming the tallest tower in New York with about 180 planned residential units.
One Manhattan Square, also developed by Extell Development, currently has 55 listings priced at $4 million and above, the most of any buildings, according to CityRealty. The downtown project offers a total of 815 units, meaning more units are expected to be released to the market in the coming months.
Likewise, large-scale developments Hudson Yards, One West End and Waterline Square have also been approved for offerings earlier this year. They will “enter the maturation of their sales cycle” after a strong sale in the second quarter, according to Stephen G. Kliegerman, president of Halstead Property Development Marketing.
Ultra-Luxury Home Buyers Are Shopping Around
The uptick in Manhattan luxury listings could also be a response to buyers’ strong demand over the summer. “Smart sellers recently have been waiting until spring/ summer to list when the buyer activity is at its peak,” said David Walker, chief executive and co-founder of brokerage Triplemint.
To some extent, summer can prove to be more convenient for luxury homeowners to list. As they go away for vacations, they can have their homes unoccupied for open houses. “Many luxury sellers are taking advantage of the summer to list,” Mr. Walker said.
On the demand side, Ms. Lenz said she saw more inquiries from both foreign and domestic buyers this summer.They are in town and can do some property shopping, “particularly in the luxury market over $10 million,” she said.
Due to increased inquiries, she is arranging more open houses and private tours of some unique properties she is listing. One of them, a Fifth Avenue co-op apartment owned by former U.S. ambassador to Belgium Bruce Gelb, cut the price from $65 million to $38 million before the holiday weekend.
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