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As 2021 Nears, Manhattan’s High-End Housing Market Trends Upwards

At the start of 2020, New York City’s housing market appeared on track for a big year. The first quarter saw an active buyer pool and sellers that were responding accordingly. Then the COVID-19 pandemic turned life on its head.

In the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, stay-at-home orders and anxiety stemming from the health crisis sent many running for the suburbs. At the same time, housing market activity slowed to a crawl.

In March, the number of contracts signed for Manhattan properties over $2 million declined 41.1% year-over-year, according to data from real estate analytics firm UrbanDigs. By May, signed contracts for $2-million-plus properties fell by 85.2% year-over-year.

But as the year comes to an end, there’s reason for optimism. 

Over the last two months, the Manhattan luxury market has shown signs of rebounding at some higher price-points. In November and December, the number of contracts signed for units with asking prices above $2 million increased by 12.2% and 7.2% year-over-year, respectively. For units under $2 million, the number of contracts signed in November and December increased by 9.4% and 18.4%, respectively.

To get a sense of what’s selling in Manhattan’s high-end market, I took a look at a few listings from Warburg Realty, a founding member of Forbes Global Properties, that recently went under contract.

Here’s a closer look:

Sophisticated on 5th Avenue

Found within a pronounced highrise co-op on Museum Mile, this corner residence takes in uninterrupted views of such New York landmarks as Central Park and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. An eye-catching gallery topped by a domed ceiling connects both wings of the residence, which contains two bedrooms, a library and a great room for living and dining.

Listed for: $6.35 million

Represented by: Bonnie Chajet and Ronnie Lane


An Artist’s touch on the Upper East Side

A Dale Chihuly-designed glass sculpture creates visual interest in the dining room of this Upper East Side condominium. Oversized windows bring Central Park and Upper Manhattan views inside, while glass doors at opposite ends of the apartment open to garden balconies. Three en-suite bedrooms, a living room and an updated kitchen fill out the floor plan.

Listed for: $5.35 million

Represented by: Ellen Sykes


Light-filled in Lenox Hill

This Lenox Hill townhome features bowed expanses of glass that filter natural light while opening the interior to city and tree-top views. Beyond the reception area, which holds a powder room, is a two-story living room that incorporates a wood-paneled library and a wet bar. Four floors of living hold six bedrooms and five bathrooms.

Listed for: $7.495 million

Represented by: Arlene Reed and Mihal Gartenberg


Parking it in Lincoln Square

A “classic six” in Central Park West, this co-op has a gracious entry foyer that opens to a sunken living room. A wall of windows in the far wall of the living room takes in views of Central Park. The formal dining room is decked out with herringbone-patterned wood floors and a wall of built-ins.

Listed for: $3.75 million

Represented by: Cecilia Serrano and Hala Lawrence


Big and bright on the Upper West Side

Recently modernized and refreshed, this Upper West Side co-op sports a contemporary feel with white walls and subdued accents. High-end appliances such as a gleaming Wolf range highlight the updated kitchen. South-facing views keep the interior well-lit throughout the day.

Listed for: $2.195 million

Represented by: Lisa Chajet and Parisa M. Afkhami

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