Issue 60 – Year in Review

Hello and may the New Year bring you joy, comfort and plenty of favorable opportunities! As we look ahead to the promise of 2015, we’re genuinely excited by the possibility of building upon the successes of 2014, which ended in record setting fashion.

In December, the six bedroom and six and a half bathroom suite located on the 39th floor of the elite Pierre Hotel was leased to an international tenant for $500,000. The listing not only set the record for the most expensive rental in New York City history, it completely shattered it. The half a million dollar a month price tag may baffle the mind, but when considering its typical nightly fee of $30,000, it suddenly seems like a bargain. Correspondingly, the same international tenant also rented a $150,000 a month suite for their guests.

On October 10, 2014, the concrete was poured on the 96th floor of the Rafael Vinoly-designed towers at 432 Park Avenue, officially topping the building out as not only the tallest residential tower in New York City, but in the entire Western Hemisphere. With 104 condominium apartments and a height of 1,396 ft., 432 Park Avenue is now the third tallest building in the United States, and the second tallest building in Manhattan, behind One World Trade Center. The soaring edifice is a monument to the strength of the New York City residential real estate market.

In September, the co-op market saw its record for the most expensive residential sale overthrown three times. The $71.3 million sale of a duplex co-op at 740 Park Avenue came on the heels of the $70 million sale of the penthouse at 960 Fifth Avenue. Both were surpassed less than a month later, when a unit at 834 Fifth Avenue was sold for $80 million. In the condominium market, the most expensive residential sale record remains with the $88 million 6,744-square-foot condominium penthouse at 15 Central Park West. Although, with several nine-figure listings on the horizon, including the $110 million planned penthouse at the Woolworth Building, it’s quite possible that there’s a new record to be had in 2015.

Elite rentals, soaring building heights and high-end luxury sale prices were not the only records set in 2014. The average sales price within the five boroughs in aggregate broke the $1 million threshold for the first time, to a record $1,040,516. In Manhattan, the average sale price for residential properties increased 18% from the third quarter of 2013, to $1.68 million. In the luxury market, the increase was even greater, as the average sale price increased 34%, to $7.25 million.

Records aside, 2015 is poised to build on the steady growth that was 2014. There are 6,287 condos set to launch in 2015, compared with 3,112 in 2014. Among them is an array of boutique buildings designed for the discerning buyer. There were roughly 91 properties to hit the Manhattan market in 2014, with an average of 37 units each. That compares with 18 properties launched in 2010, with an average of 84 units per property.  With even more coming in 2015, the trend in new luxury is the boutique building.

As the New Year begins, interest rates remain at record lows. And while it’s widely held that a rate increase is forthcoming in 2015, Federal Reserve Chairwoman, Janet Yellen, hasn’t specified when. Economists estimate it will happen sometime in late Spring to early Summer, which means the first six months of 2015 should be vibrant.

A lot can happen over the course of twelve months, but if the trends of 2014 hold true, 2015 should promise to be a busy and propitious New Year!

Hope you enjoyed the year in review!