Stribling's Luxury Market report has bad news for buyers, at least if you’re the type who needs three bedrooms and a library on Park. Prices aren’t expected to drop anytime soon, says Kirk Henckels, director of Stribling Private Brokerage (the luxe firm’s ultraluxe arm), who spoke to us today. Already, there have been four closed sales above $20 million this year — writer Georgia Shreve’s duplex penthouse at 1060 Fifth Avenue that sold for $46 million is one of the more memorable deals, given that it still needs work. And nine more blockbusters are in the offing. (Last year, we had eleven total!) “We’re already ahead of pace,” Henckels says. The under–$20 million market’s also percolating. “There’s just so little [available]. One came on yesterday, and it’s priced significantly higher than one across the street that went for $17 million last year — and it won’t last long.” Why all the action, despite continued ambivalence about the economy’s future? Though some buyers, spooked by talks of a slowdown, may have left the game, plenty are still on the lookout for their next mansion, Henckels says.
• Contrary to popular belief, “the majority of buyers at the Plaza were Americans, and the majority of those were New Yorkers.” (In other words, recent press reports of loneliness at the new megacondo project — apparently few have moved into their digs so far — can’t be attributed to neighbors being away in Gstaad.)
• The third largest townhouse sale happened downtown at 11 West 10th Street, which went for a record $33.1 million.
• Seventy-nine coops worth more than $5 million are about to close — compared to 49 this time last year.
• Financier Ira Rennert is a really nice dad — two of the major sales closing this year are his doing, as he bought his two married daughters ultraluxe co-ops. —S. Jhoanna Robledo