Manhattan Luxury Home Contracts Topping Their Pre-Pandemic Pace

Contracts to buy Manhattan luxury homes are outpacing their pre-pandemic levels thanks to discounts and optimism about New York City’s reopening a year after the lockdown.

Last week, 41 deals were signed for homes priced at $4 million or more, bringing the year-to-date total to 343, according to a report Monday by brokerage Olshan Realty. That’s a 60% increase from 215 contracts in the same period of 2020.

Purchases froze when the city was shut down last March 22 to stop the spread of Covid 19. Now, there have been at least 30 luxury contracts in each of the past seven weeks, the longest streak since Olshan started tracking the data in 2006.

This is “the comeback year,” said Donna Olshan, president of the brokerage. “These are people who live in New York or are from New York, and they’re betting on the home team.”

Manhattan’s luxury market is showing signs of a recovery even as the foreign investors who fueled deals in the past remain mostly absent. Vaccines are buoying hope for a return of cultural events and nightlife, and seller discounts are drawing buyers who might otherwise have put off purchases.

Last week’s biggest contract was for a Greenwich Village townhouse most recently listed at $22.5 million, down from its 2016 asking price of $34.95 million, Olshan said.

The second-most expensive deal was also for a townhouse -- an Upper East Side property that sought $16.5 million when it was listed in September. The seller paid $7.75 million for the home in 2005 and gut-renovated it, according to the brokerage.

Condos accounted for 68% of last week’s signed contracts priced at $4 million or more, while co-ops made up 20% and townhouses 12%, according to the report. The average asking price was $7.4 million, and discounts slashed an average of 11% off original asking prices.

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