UES townhouse arena a tale of two markets

By Francis O’Shea, senior real estate advisor, Leslie J. Garfield Real Estate 2015 was another sol

By Francis O’Shea, senior real estate advisor, Leslie J. Garfield Real Estate

2015 was another solid year for townhouse sales in the East 60’s.

While both the average sales price and price per square foot declined from 2014 levels, the numbers were skewed by the sale in 2014 of 710 Madison Avenue for $70 million, or and $8,333 psf, and 801 Madison Avenue in 2015 for $33 milllion, $5,309 psf.

When these two unprecedented commercial transactions are excluded, the market was steady overall, with the average price per square foot (PPSF) rising slightly from $1,826 to $1,828 psf and the average sales price down slightly from $11,046,426 to $10,459,039.

Francis O’Shea

But a closer look shows a sharp divide between the markets west and east of Park Avenue.

The average PPSF west of Park was down 12.2 percent year over year, from $2,262 psf to $1,986 psf and average sales prices were down 10.6 percent from $18,111,875 to $16,190,000, compared to 2014. The high water mark in terms of sales price was a tie between 14 East 63rd and 22 East 69th Street at $22.5 million, although 14 East 63rd represented the highest PPSF, at $2,642.

Meanwhile, the market west of Park Avenue experienced a banner year.

Average sales prices soared 17.6 percent, from $7,992,139 to $9,397,750, and average PPSF was up strongly

from $1,674 to $1,798 psf, or 7.6 percent over 2014 levels.

The highest price paid for a residential townhouse was $18 million at 147 East 69th Street, or $2,880 psf, while the highest PPSF paid was for 222 East 62nd Street, which at $3,179 psf and $13.888 million shattered the previous records in Treadwell Farms both on a price and PPSF basis.

It is important to note that volume west of Park Avenue was down compared to 2014, and that almost all the buildings that did transact were in need of significant renovation.

With several mint condition single-family homes coming to market in 2016, and a number of renovated single-family homes currently offered for sale, we may look back on 2015 as an aberration as opposed to a trend in the “super prime” market west of Park Avenue.

Nevertheless, the numbers are striking, and at the very least illustrate that the “middle market” in the east 60’s, townhouses priced between $5-15 million and generally located east of Park Avenue, present a compelling value proposition and will continue to be highl sought after for their close proximity to cultural institutions, schools and the midtown business districts.

Source: Real Estate Weekly