Ultra-high-end sales defined the 2019 real estate market

December 27, 2019

Looking north towards Billionaires’ Row in early October © 6sqft

Throughout the year, there was much speculation that the real estate market was on a decline, but according to CityRealty’s annual Manhattan Year-End Report, ultra-high-end sales continue to keep the market strong. On par with 2018’s 228 sales, this year saw 221 sales at $10 million or more, totaling $4.6 billion, up from last year’s $4.2 billion. As CityRealty tells us, this is “largely due to big-ticket purchases near the southern end of Central Park, most notably at 220 Central Park South,” which accounts for one-third of that total, as well as a glut of new development condos coming online.

Chart courtesy of CityRealty

There was little change in the number of residential sales–10,531 in 2018 and 10,400 in 2019–which is down from the decade high of 14,099 in 2013. Likewise, the total co-op and condo sales volume remains similar, with $21.8 billion recorded in 2018 and $21.2 billion projected for 2019, which are substantially down from the decade highs in 2016 and 2017– $25.79 billion and $25.76 billion respectively.

A modest increase occurred in the new development sector, where 1,225 sales are expected to total $5.8 billion by the end of the year, up from last year’s 1,108 sales totaling $5.3 billion. It should be noted, however, that 2017 saw the decade’s biggest surge in new development, with 1,848 sales amounting to $8.9 billion.

Chart courtesy of CityRealty

As mentioned, 2019 was buoyed by several big-ticket sales in the Billionaire’s Row buildings along Central Park South. The uber-luxury condo 220 Central Park South undoubtedly stole the show, kicking off 2019 with billionaire hedge-funder Ken Griffith’s $238 million purchase, the most expensive residential sale ever in the country. Earlier this month, the city’s third-priciest apartment ever sold at the building for $92.7 million to fellow billionaire hedge-funder Daniel Och. And when tallying the top-20 sales of the year, all but six of the sales were at 220 CPS, where its 50 total sales added up to $1.52 billion. Another notable sale is at the number-three spot, which is Jeff Bezos’ $80 million purchase at 212 Fifth Avenue–the highest downtown sale ever recorded.

When it comes to the buildings that saw the most action, One Manhattan Square sweeps the competition with 240 sales. 15 Hudson Yards comes in next with 159 sales; it also trails 220 CPS’s $1.5 billion in total sales with $709 million worth of sales.

Find the full CityRealty 2019 Manhattan Year-End Report here.

Editor’s Notes: CityRealty’s Market Report analyzed sales data consisting of condos, co-ops, and condops south of 96th Street on the East Side and south of 110th Street on the West Side. All 2019 data is projected.


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