Neither Summer Heat Nor Weekends In the Hamptons Can Stop the Manhattan Luxury Market

No longer a deterrent to house hunting. (ChrisGoldNY, flickr)

While most New Yorkers were scarcely able to sustain brain function as they sweated through the scorching temperatures, rich people were still signing contracts on fancy houses like there was no tomorrow last week.

Buyers inked 14 contracts on Manhattan luxury properties worth more than $4 million, according to Olshan Luxury Market report. Three of the properties even had asking prices above $10 million.

“Recently, I have been warning about a summer slow down,” wrote Donna Olshan in her weekly report. “I still think that’s in the cards, but look at the week we just had.”

It was a “damn good performance for a big  holiday like July 4 landing in the middle of the week,” Ms. Olshan noted. The top contract was for a penthouse at 641 Fifth Avenue that was asking $15 million.

The action was scarcely below the activity levels of the spring market and we’re already in July. Why are buyers neglecting their vacation homes to house hunt in Manhattan? Were they just waiting for a chance to test the air conditioning before committing to a purchase? Or are they just so keen on missing out on all the market action that they’ve been willing to brave the heat—scurrying between air-conditioned cars and lobbies—to try and score a deal?

Certainly, down market buyers have not been scooping up properties at the same rate. But who could blame them? After all, they must suffer treks to fourth-floor walk-ups and other indignities of the middle class.