PERSONAL FINANCE

Manhattan Luxury Townhouse Market Surged to Record-Breaking Heights

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Townhouse sales in manhattan surged last year despite low inventory, reaching the highest number of closings in six years.

There were 221 townhouse sales—including single- and multi-family homes—in Manhattan in 2021, which was 69% higher than in 2020, according to the Corcoran Group’s latest townhouse report, shared exclusively with Mansion Global. The median single-family townhouse price climbed to a record high of $8.55 million, an 8% increase from the previous year.

It was the most active market for single-family townhouse sales in eight years, according to the report.

“Since the pandemic, people have really found that they want to satisfy their living needs, which often call for a lot more space,” Pamela Liebman, president and CEO of the Corcoran Group, said. “Townhouses can fill that demand for extra space and privacy, which is like having your own oasis in a city like Manhattan.”


A large chunk of the market share were homes sold at $5 million or more, making up 59% of the total number of sales. Townhouse sales at $5 million to $10 million made up 31% of the market share, followed by sales at $10 million to $20 million with 23%, and sales at $20 million and above with 5%.

The share of townhouse sales over $10 million increased by 5% from 2020 and reached an all-time high of 28%. This was also the highest market share for homes at $20 million and above since 2015.

The median price for the top 10% of the transactions, which Corcoran defines as the luxury threshold, was $20.25 million, up 16% from 2020 and aided by several blockbuster deals.


“Sales over $20 million nearly quadrupled, including three for over $50 million, which is unprecedented,” the report said. “The $59 million sale of 12 East 69th St. was the second-highest ever, behind a $77 million sale in 2019.”

With a large amount of wealth created since the pandemic, real estate has been an important way of investing, according to Ms. Liebman. “A lot of this money was spent on upgrading people’s housing.”


The total townhouse inventory in Manhattan fell by 15% in 2021, but it didn’t seem to slow the home buyers.

“For well-appointed townhouses on great blocks, there’s a real shortage of inventory, which is causing demand to be unmet,” Ms. Liebman said, explaining that this will likely keep increasing house prices.

Downtown sales made up 30% of the total market share, followed by uptown, or Northern Manhattan, with 29%; the East Side with 26% and the West Side with 15%.

“People willing to put this type of money into large homes with no doorman shows a lot of confidence in New York City today and in the future,” Ms. Liebman told Mansion Global. “It’s a big amount of money for living without certain services, but I think that’s a good testament to how people feel about New York.”

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