Watch Contract Activity to see if this active season is panning out

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
Brooklyn luxury market has best week since Covid began
Borough saw seven contracts signed for about $22.5M
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New York City officially started reopening Monday, and it appears Brooklyn’s luxury market is on its way back as well.
Last week was the market’s strongest since the onset of the pandemic, with seven deals going into contract for about $22.5 million in total, according to the latest report from Compass.

The contract and dollar volume were the highest the borough has seen since the week of March 9, when there were 15 contracts signed for a total of about $45.3 million. Compass’ report looks at homes in the borough listed at $2 million or more.
The priciest deal last week was for a townhouse at 314 Hicks Street in Brooklyn Heights asking about $6.8 million. The five-bedroom home was built in 2012 and went into contract after 239 days on the market.
The second most expensive deal was for a townhouse at 200 Berkeley Place in Park Slope asking $4.5 million. The home spans 4,000 square feet with six bedrooms and went into contract after 219 days.
The seven deals included three condos, two townhouses and two co-ops, and went into contract with an average asking price of about $3.2 million and an average discount of about 5 percent from their initial listings. The properties spent an average of 178 days on the market.
Other deals that went into contract last week included a condo at 243 4th Avenue in Park Slope for about $2.5 million and a co-op at 28 Old Fulton Street in Brooklyn Heights for $2.35 million.
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
Report on Contracts Signed
Manhattan Residential Properties
$4 Million and Above
June 1-7, 2020
4 Contracts Signed

Four contracts were signed last week at $4 million and above, one less than the previous week. Nevertheless, there were some noteworthy deals that offered new hope in the luxury market. Take a look:
Stat Geek Alert I: Three of the four contracts were on properties asking in excess of $10 million. To give perspective, only one contract signed in May was listed north of $10 million.
Stat Geek Alert II: The dollar volume of $46,895,000 was the highest weekly total in the last 11 pandemic weeks.

The No. 1 contract was PHB at 415 Greenwich Street, asking $18.995 million, reduced from $20 million when it was listed in September 2019. The duplex penthouse condo has 4,470 square feet including 5 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, and terraces totaling 2,000 square feet. It also has a 45-foot great room that opens onto a landscaped terrace with an outdoor kitchen. The unit was purchased for $11.5 million in December 2015 and then went through a 3-year renovation. By the time it was completed, the owners had moved to Colorado. The building is known as the Tribeca Summit, and amenities include a doorman, a fitness center, storage rooms, and parking.
The seller was represented by Danny Davis of the Corcoran Group and the buyers were represented by Josh Wesoky of Compass. The buyers saw the unit off of pictures, floorplans, and video. Wesoky had previewed the penthouse last July before it went on the market and before his clients, who were living in a Tribeca rental, were actually ready to buy. “We started the negotiations about 3 ½ weeks ago,” Davis said. “We first negotiated the price and terms, and once we had an accepted offer, then the buyers came to see the apartment on their own.” He said the seller was aghast at negotiating before the buyers saw the unit. “I had to explain to him that this is how business is done at this time. Once we came to an agreement on price, everything went thru very smoothly, and there was no re-trading. Both parties acted in good faith, and we were able to get it done.”
Davis said that the buyers had been sheltering outside the city. “They were a family, and they wanted something brand new, turn key, and some of the furniture was sold with the apartment. Hopefully they will move in in a few weeks.”
The No. 2 contract was 11A at 260 West Broadway, asking $11.5 million, reduced from $14.8 million when it was listed in February 2019. The condo has 3,777 square feet including 2 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. It has a 33-foot great room with a wood-burning fireplace, and features a media room within a spectacular oak-paneled rotunda that measures 28 feet in diameter with a 25-foot-high ceiling. This dramatic apartment has appeared in Architectural Digest and was designed by Thomas O’Brien of Aero Studios. The condo, known as The American Thread building, has a doorman, gym, and roof deck.
Carrie Chiang and Loy Carlos of the Corcoran Group represented the sellers. Michelle Griffith, who at the time was at Corcoran, represented the buyers. (Griffith has since moved to Compass.) Carlos said the buyer saw the unit once in January. “The reality is that the apartment is one of a kind,” he said. “They loved the neighborhood, and the kind of space and things they could do with it. Under normal circumstances, we would have been a lot more firm on the price, but with what’s going on we were able to come to an agreeable price.”
The No. 3 contract was a townhouse at 29 Beekman Place, asking $11.45 million, reduced from $49.9 million when it was listed in 2014. It has cycled through six different brokerage firms over the listing period. The 12,260-square-foot house was purchased in 1980 by Princess Ashraf Pahlavi, the twin sister of the last Shah of Iran. The princess passed away in 2016 at the age of 96. The property has been tied up in complicated lawsuits with competing claims by heirs and by an employee claiming a pension. As a result, the property was thrown into bankruptcy court. The listing brokers are a co-exclusive between Charlie Attias of Compass and Greg Corbin of Rosewood Realty. Attias would not reveal any details of the sale because he said he was under a confidentiality agreement.
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
In a reversal of recent trends, both new listings and contract signings fell this past week (6/7/2020 - 6/13/2020) to 193 and 53 from 219 and 60 respectively, almost 12% each vs the prior week (5/31/2020 - 6/6/2020).

For the second week of June in 2019 (6/9/2019 - 6/15/2019) those numbers were 324 new listings and 201 contracts signed.
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
Brooklyn’s luxury market slumped as in-person showings began
Four properties asking $2M+ found buyers last week

New York City’s first full week of in-person showings since March didn’t tempt many Brooklyn buyers.
Last week, four homes in the borough went into contract, according to Compass weekly luxury market report, which tracks contract activity among homes last asking $2 million or more. The properties’ combined value was $9.5 million.
The prior week saw six homes go into contract for a total of $17.4 million. The first and second weeks of June saw seven deals inked for weekly totals of $22.5 million and $17.5 million, respectively.

Last week marked the start of phase two of the city’s reopening, which allowed in-person showings to resume. Many in the brokerage community expected an uptick in contract activity to follow reopening.

The most expensive property to go into contract last week was a six-bedroom townhouse in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The four-story brownstone at 511 Macon Street has a large backyard, 10-foot ceilings and a wood-burning fireplace. The 3,550-square-foot home was last asking $2.75 million and was on the market for a total of 150 days.

The other properties included a three-bedroom penthouse at a five-unit condominium in Greenpoint last asking $2.4 million, a Park Slope co-op with a final ask of $2.1 million and a two-bedroom condo at 70 Washington Street in Dumbo at $2.3 million. The high-end Dumbo building made waves when sales launched for selling private rooftop cabanas for as much as $325,000 a piece.

On average, the four properties were on the market for 121 days and went into contract with a median asking price of $2.3 million.
The average listing discount, the amount final asking prices dropped compared to initial ask, was zero, signalling that the four homes that went into contract last week did not lower asking prices while they waited for a buyer to bite.

Among the brokerage community, many agree that a so-called Covid discount is warranted, though the degree of the markdown is a matter of fierce debate, ranging from 5 to 20 percent off.
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
I'm not so sure how you explain away 5 and 9 year aged resales as "new construction discounts."

In June, Slower Sales and Price Reductions in New York City
The month’s biggest closing was an apartment on the 88th floor of One57 that was acquired for 41 percent below the original purchase price.

The pace of closings slowed in New York City during the month of June as the coronavirus took a toll on buying activity.
The most expensive recorded transaction was a full-floor aerie near the apex of One57, once the city’s priciest condominium. The apartment sold in a private deal linked to a Chinese conglomerate for $28 million, a 41 percent discount from the original purchase price.
A deep reduction also took place at Time Warner Center’s Residences at the Mandarin Oriental, where a penthouse sold for $23 million, 25 percent below its purchase price nine years ago.
While the volume of sales contracts has been plummeting, the market is expected to rebound now that restrictions on real estate activity, instituted to curb the spread of the virus, have been eased. “It will feel like a boom initially,” said Jonathan J. Miller, a Manhattan real estate appraiser. “But it’s really a release of pent-up demand. We’re going to have a busy summer.”
Already brokers see some movement. “Since the reopening, I’ve seen an uptick in activity with requests for showings as well as apartments coming on the market,” said Chris Kann, an agent with the Corcoran Group. “People want to move on with their lives.”

The month of June also saw several townhouse closings, which Mr. Kann and other real estate professionals attributed in part to demand for outdoor space. The most expensive, at $14.2 million, was a five-story, 25-foot-wide house at 125 East 92nd Street.
Among the other townhouse sales: the longtime Upper East Side home of Christopher B. Cerf, an author, composer and lyricist who wrote numerous songs for “Sesame Street”; and the West Village home of Harry A. Lawton III, the former president of Macy’s, and his wife, Joanne Lawton.

The apartment at One57 is on the 88th floor of the 90-story tower at 157 West 57th Street, on billionaires’ row in Midtown. It sits just below a duplex that sold for almost $100.5 million in 2015, reportedly to Michael Dell, the chief executive of Dell Technologies, and once held the record for the highest price paid for a single city residence.
Unit No. 88 was purchased brand-new, also in 2015, for nearly $47.4 million by Pac Wholly Own, an entity associated with the Pacific American Corporation, a New York subsidiary of the HNA Group of China. (Guoqing Chen, a founder of HNA’s Hainan Airlines, still owns a residence on the 86th floor.) Its buyer was the limited liability company OFS Property, whose managing partner is an executive at HNA.
The 6,231-square-foot apartment features four bedrooms, four bathrooms and a powder room, along with floor-to-ceiling windows that provide panoramic park, water and cityscape vistas.

The month’s runner-up sale — a penthouse on the 76th floor of the 80-story Mandarin Oriental, at 80 Columbus Circle — has four bedrooms and five and a half baths, and comes with a separate storage room. There’s also an 8-by-64-foot terrace off the living room and a master suite that looks out onto Central Park.

The seller, whose identity was shielded by the limited liability company 80 Columbus Circle (NYC), had paid $30.6 million for the apartment in 2011. The new owner was listed as Dempcat LLC.
The Mandarin Oriental, which opened in 2003, is situated in the north tower of Time Warner Center. It has 64 condo units directly above the hotel, starting on the 64th floor.

Mr. Cerf’s townhouse, at 146 East 62nd Street, between Lexington and Third Avenues, was sold for $7.8 million to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, whose headquarters abuts the property. (The foundation plans to expand its office space there, according to Michele Warman, the chief operating officer.)
The house, built in the early 1900s, stands five stories high and 20 feet wide with about 5,432 square feet of interior space and a rear garden.
Mr. Cerf, who won three Grammy Awards and one Emmy for children’s music and programing, had paid $248,000 for the building in 1968, a year before “Sesame Street” first aired.
He leaves behind myriad memories. It was at this house where he worked on projects for the likes of National Lampoon magazine and Random House, the publishing company that his father, Bennett Cerf, co-founded. In 2015, he was married there to the writer Katherine Vaz.

The Lawtons sold their townhouse, at 33 Charles Street, for nearly $9.8 million, about 7 percent off the $10.5 million they had paid for it less than three years ago.
The renovated four-story structure extends about 3,737 square feet, with three bedrooms and two and a half baths. There is also ample exterior space, including a terrace off the media room that overlooks a landscaped rear garden.
The house was once home to the actors Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe; they acquired it through a trust in 2002 and sold it almost three and a half years later. The new owner, under contract since late May, is the limited liability company Kousa Realty.
Mr. Lawton, who served as president of Macy’s from 2017 to 2019, is now the chief executive of the Tractor Supply Company, which is based in Brentwood, Tenn.
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
As weather heats up, Brooklyn luxury market doesn’t
Just five deals over $2M inked last week, led by Fort Greene condo with deck

Christmas in July is not a good thing when it comes to home sales.
Once again, activity in Brooklyn’s luxury market was frigid last week, with just five deals signed for a combined value of $11.8 million, according to Compass’ weekly report tracking contract activity for homes asking $2 million or more.

The week prior, when in-person property showings restarted, saw four high-end homes go into contract for a total of $9.5 million. The previous weeks in June saw slightly more activity, even with the ban on showings being in place.

The priciest home to go into contract last week was a Fort Greene condo at 394 Vanderbilt Avenue with a final asking price of $2.6 million. The three-bedroom unit spans an entire floor of the renovated four-story row house and has a 440-square-foot roof deck.

It was on the market for just 21 days, perhaps because outdoor space has become more valued by buyers since the pandemic hit the city four months ago.

The other properties were two townhouses in Bed-Stuy and Prospect Heights, a Brooklyn Heights co-op and a condo in Carroll Gardens.

On average, the five properties were on the market for 111 days and went into contract with a median asking price of $2.25 million.
The average listing discount — the amount that final asking prices dropped from the initial ask — was 3 percent, indicating a slight adjustment to asking prices. The brokerage community pondered potential price drops as showings began on June 22 and residential market activity was expected to pick up.

During the week of June 22, the listing discount for Brooklyn luxury contracts was zero.
 
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