(Bloomberg) — This was not New York’s year from any angle, and real estate was no exception.
By the end of September, the volume of Manhattan co-op and condo sales was down 43 percent year over year, according to a report by Douglas Elliman, as sellers held back from listing their apartments and buyers increasingly gravitated toward the suburbs.
Still, looking at the top residential real estate sales of 2020, it seems one demographic — the super rich — has committed to New York for the long haul.
Of the top 10 national sales compiled by Jonathan Miller, president and chief executive officer of Miller Samuel appraisers, four were in 220 Central Park South, a new luxury tower on Central Park designed by architects at Robert A.M. Stern.
“A high-profile, specific super-luxury subset seems, at least for the time being, to be impervious to general market conditions,” Miller said. The sales, each of which went into contract at least three years ago, “show us how vastly disconnected [220 Central Park South] is from the rest of the market.”
Another trend from this year, namely rich people “fleeing” New York for Florida, didn’t manage to trickle up to the highest tier. Only two of this year’s top 10 sales were in Palm Beach, Fla.; last year there were three.
Even the three Los Angeles entries diverge slightly from conventional 2020 narratives. Yes, the L.A. market is one of the few urban bright lights this year, with sales soaring and inventory hard to come by. But numbers at the very top are down from last year, when it notched four entries in the top 10, totaling $463 million. This year there were three, totaling $358 million.
In fact, this year’s top 10 saw an overall decline in value of nearly 29 percent. The 2019 total was a hefty $1.2 billion; this year it was $850 million.
See what made the cut:
Reportedly purchased by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos from music producer David Geffen, the 9.4-acre estate dates to the 1930s and set a new record for L.A.-area real estate.
The more than six-acre estate, which includes a 26,000-square-foot house, was reportedly sold by Quibi founder Jeffrey Katzenberg.
The duplex on the 76th and 77th floors has about 9,000 square feet of interior space, with four bedrooms and five full baths.
The two-acre property was sold for more than a $40 million profit in just three years. The seller bought the property in 2017 for $27 million, for a neat 55 percent annual return.
The former Kennedy family estate (sold in the 1990s) was renovated by the seller in 2015.
Remember David Geffen from entry No. 1? He’s reportedly taken some of his gains and put them into this 3.3-acre property, which features an 18,500-square-foot house designed by Richard Meier. Call it a downsize.
The 237-acre ranch with a 30,000-square-foot home sold after sitting on the market for six years. Its original asking price was $125 million.
The nearly 6,000-square-foot apartment was purchased by someone who apparently felt that the view is worth more than $10,000 per square foot.
The four-bedroom apartment reportedly includes a library, a dining room, and a wisp-thin 100 square feet of terrace space.
The full-floor unit closed in September, having gone under contract in 2018.