Sunday, March 25, 2012

New Buildings Sky High In Manhattan

Despite sluggish sales in the rest of the Manhattan apartment market, demand for New York's most-expensive properties has been soaring, drawing multimillionaire buyers from around the world. Developers say that there is a shortage of trophy apartments—those with unrivaled views and features —that has driven prices far above levels seen during the real-estate boom.
Real estate brokers who work with very high-end buyers say their business has been extremely busy, and they could sell much more if a larger supply of apartments was available. 

And with more than twenty Russian billionaires, each with a net worth of over $7 billion dollars, reportedly in the market for homes in New York City, construction of new "super luxury" buildings is moving ahead at a furious pace.

Recently, the 22-year-old daughter of Russian billionaire, Dmitry Rybolovlev, purchased a sprawling penthouse with a wrap-around terrace at 15 Central Park West - for the full asking price of $88 million. She has stated that she will use the 6,744-square-foot penthouse on the 20th floor as her "dorm" while attending New Youk University this fall.

The previous high sale in Manhattan had been a $53 million townhouse sale back in 2006.

Developers believe that an $88 million apartment sale justifies the construction of more luxurious and even more expensive homes in Manhattan, where presently there are more than twelve apartments currently listed for at than $40 million - including two penthouses in the sky-high One57, each with a reported asking price of over $115 million.

Wealthy Russian buyers, who once looked mainly to London for second homes - where Mr. Rybolovlev this past month, purchased a $90 million second home - are particularly active in the Manhattan market, which is a time of rising political uncertainty in Russia. 

So far this year, there have been ten sales recorded for $30 million or more in Manhattan, city property records show, with a $48 million deal at the Plaza Hotel closing this past week. The buyer was another Russian, Igor Krutoy, a music promoter, who made a fortune with investments in Russian media. 

The number of closed sales at or above $30 million recorded to date is the highest since 2008, when there were 21 such sales.

Suddenly, the East 80th Street mansion off Fifth Avenue, with the $90 million asking price, seems a bit less out of range.