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It's Easier to Find a Home Above $10M Than One Below $500K in Manhattan

By Amy Zimmer | April 4, 2017 7:16am
 The sun room for a $25 million penthouse at One Van Dam, at 180 Sixth Ave., listed by Stribling.
The sun room for a $25 million penthouse at One Van Dam, at 180 Sixth Ave., listed by Stribling.
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Manhattan’s ultra-luxury market may not be ultra-competitive these days — after all, how big is the pool of buyers who can afford $20 million, or even $10 million, on a home?

But the wealthy continue to flock to New York real estate, according to a Stribling report released Tuesday.

For the first time ever, the share of properties priced above $10 million was equal to the share of properties priced below $500,000 — with both at roughly 6 percent — an indication of how the market has been inflated by luxury listings, said Garrett Derderian, Stribling's director of data and reporting.

“As prices at the higher end have gone up, it’s driven up prices as a whole,” he said.

Studios, however, spent the shortest amount of time on the market (along with one-bedrooms), with 56 percent entering contract within the first 59 days. The median price for studios sold in co-ops was $450,000; in condos, the median was $712,000 in the first quarter.

Homes priced above $10 million, on the other hand, are taking longer to sell, often lingering on the market for more than 180 days before entering contract.

Still, many are still selling, Derderian said.

New York is, after all, home to the most billionaires in the world, according to Forbes, which estimated that nearly 80 super-rich individuals have homes here, including two of the world’s 10 wealthiest people: former mayor Michael Bloomberg and industrialist David Koch.

In all, nearly one-third of the total share of listings in Manhattan were priced above $3 million, which is well out of reach for average residents in the borough — where the median household income is roughly $66,700, according to Census figures.

Of the contracts signed in the first quarter of 2017, 17 percent were for homes priced above $3 million.

Despite the slowdown in the super-luxury market, contracts for condos above $20 million saw big price gains, year-over-year. The median price jumped 22 percent to $2.75, Stribling found.

Some experts are hopeful that tax reform, which is expected to result in cuts for the wealthy, will prop up the city's high end market. That's why Mayor Bill de Blasio is calling on the state to support his “mansion tax" plan to levy a 2.5 percent surcharge on residential sales above $2 million.

The aim is to raise more than $330 million to fund rent subsidies for about 25,000 low-income senior citizens.

"The wealthiest among us have every reason to expect a major new tax break at the federal level given the proposal already put forward by President Trump and the Congress," de Blasio said in January. "We think in light of the fact that the wealthiest will be receiving a substantial federal tax break that it's time they pay their fair share in state and local taxes."

More recently, he noted that 432 Park Ave., the 96-story slender tower that's home to some of the world's wealthiest people, could have helped the city raise $30 million for affordable housing for 2,000 seniors based on the sale of 62 condos.