At first blush, the fourth-quarter Manhattan market reports would seem to be evidence of a holiday miracle: co-op boards were overwhelmed by contracts, inventory plummeted, prices skyrocketed and a tremendous amount of money changed hands.
Manhattan ended 2012 with a grand finale: more fourth quarter sales than it has seen in 25 years, according to Douglas Elliman, and the lowest level of inventory in more than a decade. Alas, as is increasingly the case in the Manhattan real estate market and the city at large, the wealth was not spread out evenly in the end-of-the-year closings. The trophy market, while shining brightly, is something of a false beacon when it comes to the Manhattan real estate. It illuminates the seemingly unshakeable good fortunes of the world’s wealthiest, but does not reveal the decidedly uncertain recovery and unstable footing of the financially struggling masses.
It’s a little embarrassing, really. A day after 15 Central Park West announced its $95 million listing, 50 Central Park South had to go and announce that it also had a $95 million listing. And they’re even on the same floor (the 35th). But we’re sure that the owner at the Ritz-Carlton had been totally planning to list the apartment for, like, months now, so like, whatever 15 Central Park West.
Anyway, the big takeaway is that there are now two $95 million apartments on the market, in addition to a $100 million apartment at CitySpire, not to mention the One57 penthouse that sold for somewhere north of $90 million—maybe $95 million!
Because this is the new reality of the trophy property market in Manhattan, as The New York Times, who first reported the listing, claims. Or at least, it is the old reality of really rich people who want to be even richer people and are hoping that slapping a $95 million price tag on their apartment will make it a $95 million apartment.
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.