Multimillion dollar Manhattan apts sell huge in summer
They're huge, they're gorgeous, they cost more than $4 million and they're selling like crazy.
While experts say the Manhattan luxury real estate market was sluggish for a few years, sales of the pricey pads are up 42% this summer, largely because of foreign buyers, according to a report by the brokerage firm Olshan Realty.
Between June 25 and last week, 129 apartments sold in Manhattan for an average price of about $7.5 million each, the most since the firm began tracking sales in 2007. During the same period last year, 91 apartments sold for an average price of nearly $8 million, according to the report.
Olshan Realty president Donna Olshan said the market for these expensive pads has rebounded and that investors from all over the globe have taken notice. She credited low interest rates with helping increase people's interest in buying.
"If you look around, there is no place to really park your money in a safe way," Olshan said.
City real estate experts say this sales increase was no summer special.
Andrew Barrocas, chief executive of realty firm MNS, said there is tremendous demand for New York real estate from foreign investors, especially ones in Europe.
With markets in Greece and other countries rickety, Barrocas said luxury apartments provide a safe haven.
"It might not have double-digit returns, but they are extremely stable," he said.
Although there are some apartment buyers that actually use the space when they are in the Big Apple, experts say investors are using their pads strictly as investments.
Downtown sales rose from 31 in 2011 to 51 this year and there were 18 midtown apartment contracts in 2012, compared with seven last year.
The penthouse at 482 Greenwich St. sold for the highest price, at $11 million. It has four bedrooms and six-and-a-half bathrooms.
One of the most popular spots isn't even open yet. The condo 432 Park Ave., set to open in 2014, includes 12½ -foot ceilings, panoramic views of Central Park, on-site housekeeping, valet parking and a 75-foot pool.
"That looks like it's going to be the new hot building because of the architecture and location," Olshan said.
Heather McDonough of Prudential Douglas Elliman said she expects foreign buyers to be interested in new developments.
"They feel there is certainty and stability in the U.S. dollar despite everything we went through," she said.