The latest batch of the city’s high-end condos arrives as sales continue their upswing
The New York City sales market took an unprecedented hit during the depths of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, and recovery is still underway. But as buyers started returning to the city, a curious dynamic emerged: After the high-end market weathered several years of slumping activity, luxury transactions have led the city’s sales comeback.
“Pre-Covid, for five years the market has been soft at the top and tighter at the lower price points,” said Jonathan Miller, CEO of appraisal firm Miller Samuel and author of Douglas Elliman’s market reports. “Since lockdown ended, it’s been the inverse. And because new development skews luxury, the picture for new development has improved.”
In an economic crisis that predominantly affected lower-wage earners while creating vast stock market gains for middle- and high-income buyers, Mr. Miller said, conditions have shifted in favor of the demographic that generally gravitates toward new development. “There’s still an oversupply challenge, but the conditions have improved.”
While the luxury market is still seeing a smaller share of international buyers than in previous years, Mr. Miller said, “There have been people chasing discounts, and the [amount of available discounts] is compressing. There’s a time limit on it.”
The median price of a luxury Manhattan apartment in the second quarter was $5.6 million, according to Mr. Miller, a 2.4% increase from 2020 but a 9.1% decrease from 2019. By comparison, the median sales price for new development in the second quarter was $2.47 million, a 7.1% drop from 2020 but a 1% increase from 2019. “In other words,” said Mr. Miller, “New development is doing better than the luxury market in terms of price trends.”
This fall, a new crop of luxury developments is arriving into favorable market conditions, with designs that harken back to the city’s classic architecture, and focus sweeping city views, spa-like amenities and the new post-Covid gold standard amenity: plenty of fresh air and outdoor space.
The Cortland, 555 West 22nd St., West Chelsea
A collaboration between Robert A.M. Stern Architects and Olson Kundig, The Cortland is located across from Hudson River Park, and features a hand-laid brick facade inspired by the architectural history of West Chelsea. The project’s 144 residences will feature high ceilings, open-plan living and dining areas, and “multifunctional” spaces, all designed to give buyers the flexibility to customize to suit their needs and lifestyle. Sales are set to launch this fall.
Number of units: 144
Price range: Pricing upon request
Developers/Architect: Related Companies/Robert A.M. Stern Architects
Residence sizes: From studios to five-bedroom apartments
Amenities: Leisure and wellness services, tailored experiences, and exclusive benefits through Related Life, as well as communal spaces featuring “a sophisticated mix of stone, metal and wood.”