Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- A Manhattan penthouse listed for $27.5 million -- a fragment of a larger condo that was carved in two amid a luxury-sales slowdown -- has found a buyer as the borough’s high-end market experiences a sudden revival.

The 5,500-square-foot (511-square-meter) duplex spanning the top floors of 10 Sullivan St., a Soho development completed last year, sold this week for $25 million. The two-story penthouse was sliced from a larger 8,400-square-foot triplex that was seeking $45 million, after co-developers Property Markets Group and Madison Equities concluded they wouldn’t find a buyer for such a large unit and at such a high price.

Manhattan’s ultra-luxury condo market, weighed down by a glut of construction and a dizzying number of choices, is having a reawakening. The first week of January marked the strongest start to a year since 2014 for sales at $4 million or higher, according to a report from Olshan Realty Inc., with 26 contracts in that range signed from Jan. 2 to Jan. 8. Those included one for a five-story West Village mansion that was seeking $30 million, $4 million above its original listing price in September. The spark comes on the heels of 2016, a year in which luxury deals fell 18 percent, according to the brokerage.

“A year or so ago, everyone was taking a wait-and-see approach, not knowing what was going on,” said Noble Black, the broker with Douglas Elliman Real Estate who marketed and sold the 10 Sullivan penthouse. “People had a sense that the market was soft and falling, but they didn’t have anything to point to.”

No Waiting

Now, with a surging stock market inspiring confidence, and a year of data showing that luxury pricing is more negotiable, buyers “feel like there’s nothing to wait on anymore,” Black said. “I had a great November and December.”

The whittled-down five-bedroom apartment, with 26-foot ceilings and a private rooftop terrace, was listed in May for $28.5 million, according to property website StreetEasy. The price was cut by $1 million in November.

Within a month of the reduction, and a reworking of the interior decor used to “stage” the apartment, the property drew two official offers and interest from a third would-be buyer, said Robert Gladstone, owner of Madison Equities. The builders negotiated one of the offers upward to the sale price of $25 million, said Kevin Maloney, principal of Property Markets Group. The developers agreed to install a hot tub on the rooftop as part of the final deal, he said.

‘Satisfactory Amount’

“We didn’t get what I wanted, but we got a satisfactory amount,” Gladstone said.

The other unit created from the split-up of the larger penthouse -- a three-bedroom, 2,950-square-foot apartment spanning the 15th floor -- remains on the market at $10 million, or $1.5 million less than its initial listing price, StreetEasy data show. The developers have turned down at least two offers on that apartment they deemed too low, feeling they can hold out for closer to their asking price, Maloney said.

“The market has definitely shown a pop,” he said. “I’m very cautious about making statements like, ‘Wow, the market’s back,’ but there’s some real strength right now. It would be great if it was the beginning of another upsurge.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Oshrat Carmiel in New York at ocarmiel1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Daniel Taub at dtaub@bloomberg.net, Christine Maurus

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