Tuesday, March 19, 2013

$4,000,000+ properties are selling like hotcakes. Whole wheat. Hold the syrup and powdered sugar.

This week's Olshan Luxury Market Report says that between March 11 and March 17, 63 contracts were signed for properties asking $4,000,000 and above. 

That's a huge number, but the big news is that this beats by a mile the previous record of 43, which was set, believe it or not, the previous week.

The latest Stribling Luxury Market Report, put together by our own Kirk Henckels, says that co-op and townhouse sales of $5,000,000 or more hit a record in 2012, exceeding totals in 2008. 

That was the peak year for Manhattan before the crash sent wealthy buyers back into the woodwork.

But there's a subtle change. 
The general feeling among brokers is that while the rich are by no means averse to spending a lot of money for the right property, the right property is now more than ever one that offers quality and craftsmanship as opposed to details that wear obvious dollar signs.
150 Charles (artist's rendering, from Curbed)
Leonard Steinberg, the Douglas Elliman broker who is overseeing sales at 150 Charles, said in the Wall Street Journal that "Crystal chandeliers and marble lobbies are not what buyers are looking for today.  They want rich, warm character."

150 Charles, a West Village condominium of 91 units (presumably loaded with rich, warm character) where prices start above $3,000,000, is well on its way to selling out.

In the wake of the Great Recession, a private report prepared by Luxury Portfolio International (TM) offers this:  "With increased confidence comes less fear in the marketplace and more expectations focused on the quality [the rich] are receiving for their money, a phenomenon presented as the 'Worth Dynamic'--where consumers weigh whether the details of a property are worth paying a premium."

Here are the links:  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323415304578368502129806538.html?KEYWORDS=Kirk+Henckels




The Stribling Luxury Market report is not yet on the Stribling website but it should be there momentarily:  www.stribling.com

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