(Bloomberg) — In case anyone was still worried about New York City being “over,” the news of its best-ever year in luxury home sales should put that concern permanently to rest.
Of the 1,877 contracts signed at $4 million and above, a staggering 400 were signed for properties asking $10 million or more, according to data compiled by Donna Olshan, president of the real estate broker Olshan Realty. “This has gone beyond the golden years of new development in 2013 and 2014 and 2015,” she says.
Olshan assembled a conditional list for Bloomberg of the 10 most expensive contracts signed—conditional, she says, because additional sales could emerge as the year draws to a close, and even after. “There are always going to be sales that aren’t reported, and they’re not in the database,” she explains.
Of the known sales to date, several clear trends have emerged.
The Upper East Side Is King
Including a penthouse sale at 1165 Madison that went into contract but hasn’t closed yet, nine of the top 10 sales listed by Olshan were located north of 57th street. “We don’t usually see that,” she says. “Usually this list is downtown-loaded.” In 2021, however, “uptown ruled the day.”
Chalk it up to the boom in new condos designed to look like old co-ops: The Robert AM Stern Architects (Ramsa)-designed 220 Central Park South occupied three of the top slots.
Related: Super-Luxury Home Sales Surge Across U.S., Rising 35% in 2021
Listed at No. 1 was a two-unit sale to Alibaba co-founder Joe Tsai for $157.5 million; No. 3 is a two-unit combination in the building that sold for $66 million; and slightly lower on the list (No. 5), a nearly 6,000-square-foot apartment that sold for $59.5 million, pushing that unit’s price per square foot just past $10,000.
The forthcoming sale at 1165 Madison Ave. (No. 2 on Olshan’s list, if it closes for the asking price of $66.5 million) was also designed by Stern to evoke the qualities of a prewar building.
Only one actual prewar unit made it onto the list: The triplex penthouse at 2 East 88th St., reportedly sold by banking scion Jacqui Safra, changed hands for $60 million, making it No. 4 on the list.
Next, three Upper East Side townhouses (Nos. 6, 7, and 8) added to the neighborhood’s total. Twelve East 69th St. sold for $59 million, 11 East 69th St. sold for $53.5 million, and 9 East 71st St., a 50-foot-wide townhouse once owned by Jeffrey Epstein, sold for $51 million.
Bigger Is Better
“The one result of the pandemic,” Olshan says, “is that everyone bought larger spaces.”
Everyone’s house was fine until it was no longer just a home. Suddenly, it was also an office and a school, which meant that “people wanted bigger, no matter what the price range,” she continues.
Leaving out 2 East 88th St., a co-op that doesn’t officially list its square footage—news reports pegged it at 7,000 square feet—the average square footage of the top apartments was just over 13,370 square feet.
The largest townhouse—9 East 71st St.—covers a massive 28,000 square feet. The largest condo, at 1165 Madison Ave., spans 13,000 square feet. “For rich people,” Olshan says, “there’s no such thing as being too rich, or too thin, or having too many rooms.”
The Sky’s Not Quite the Limit
For all the lofty prices of the Top 10 sales, several of the listings had to take significant price cuts before they sold.
The biggest price cut was reserved for a condo in the troubled Central Park Tower on West 57th Street, which initially carried a price tag of $95 million. (It’s No. 9 on the top 10 list.) The price was slashed 47% before it sold for $50 million, or $6,265 a square foot.
Epstein’s former house had a similar price trajectory: It sank from an ask of $88 million to one of $65 million. Its final price, at $51 million, was the bargain of the group, making the price per square foot a mere $1,821.
Twelve East 69th St. was also initially listed for $88 million, so its final price of $59 million represents a cut of nearly 38%.
“It’s aspirational pricing—fantasy pricing,” Olshan says. “But they’re still great numbers.”
They’re also numbers that Olshan predicts will continue to grow.
“If the stock market doesn’t blow out, or a variant doesn’t come and kill us, the demand will be there,” she says. “I think we’re OK for the first quarter of 2022. Beyond that, I don’t know.”
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Welcome to Real Estate Friday! – theberkshireedge.com
Here’s what we have for you this week in The Edge Real Estate section:
- Property of the Week – Janet Kain of TKG Real Estate offers the opportunity to live in a stunning home, lovingly cared for and perfectly located for year-round enjoyment of the Berkshires.
- Transformations – Designer Jennifer Owen and her clients imagined a calming space to relax while listening to the Boston Symphony Orchestra Live from Tanglewood on the radio!
- Weekly real estate transactions for Berkshire County, Northern Litchfield County and, now, Columbia County
- Market Perspective – Updated this week: The 2021 year-end real estate report from the Berkshire Board of REALTORS. What does it tell us?
- The Self-Taught Gardener – How does Joan Didion’s approach to life and to her art inform our Self-Taught Gardener on how to garden?
- Gardener’s Checklist – The holidays are over and the winter doldrums have set in. What’s a gardener to do to lift his spirits in these dark days?
Vancouver real estate: Luxury sales way up in 2021 | CTV News – CTV News Vancouver
Sellers of luxury real estate did well last year, data on the Vancouver market suggests. Sales of properties with price tags higher than $4 million were up a whopping 171 per cent year-over-year.
Data released by Sotheby’s International Realty earlier this week included that 410 such properties were sold in the area in 2021. That total includes condos, attached homes and single-family homes.
It’s a trend that wasn’t limited to Vancouver, too.
Records fell in most of Canada’s major metropolitan luxury markets, something Sotheby’s attributes to buyers’ “urgent, pandemic-influenced demand for housing mobility,” as well as strengthened confidence in Canada’s post-pandemic economic recovery.
As in non-luxury markets, demand quickly outpaced supply. Prices went up, inventory “eroded,” and markets reached historic highs, Sotheby’s report explains simply.
“Canada’s real estate market was redefined in 2021,” Sotheby’s said.
The luxury market benefitted from a change in priorities – with more people working from home, buyers were less concerned about their commutes, and more concerned about space and security.
Low interest rates and record savings also didn’t hurt, and Sotheby’s noted seeing underlying anxiety from buyers concerned about investments made elsewhere, like on the stock market.
In Vancouver, that translated to the increase mentioned above for all luxury properties.
Sales jumped even more from 2020 to 2021 when looking at the ultra-luxury listings. Twenty-four properties priced over $10 million were sold last year, up 218 per cent from just 11 sold the year before.
The report does not address the buyers of homes at this price range, so it’s unclear whether they were purchased by residents already living locally, and whether they were purchased by people intending to live there full time.
A report released last week from the Bank of Canada suggested a significant share of newer homes, at least, were purchased by repeat buyers and investors.
Of course it’s unlikely many first-time buyers are looking at luxury real estate, but the report found that as home sales grew and prices skyrocketed – a trend realtor groups often tied to local buyers looking for more space during the pandemic – it was purchases by investors that grew the most.
The Bank of Canada study looked only at mortgage data, however, so it does not capture homes bought with cash or by corporations.
Looking at lower-priced (relatively) homes, Sotheby’s said broadening the scope to include all properties sold for prices higher than $1 million still shows an increase in 2021, compared to 2020. But sales were up 145 per cent, compared to in the higher-priced categories.
Sotheby’s said 5,794 homes in this category were sold last year.
The category that saw the steepest growth was specifically single-family homes priced higher than $10 million. Those sales were up 240 per cent, compared to the previous year’s.
Other markets saw steep growth when it came to the sale of luxury real estate last year, including in Toronto where sales of properties over $4 million was up 224 per cent from in 2020, and ultra-luxury property sales were up 238 per cent.
Calgary saw the greatest growth in sales over $1 million, which were up 222 per cent, and in Montreal, real estate listed at over $4 million was up 178 per cent from 2020.
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