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Why Some Prized Manhattan Properties Just Won't Sell

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In a real estate market as fast-paced in New York's, some properties are on ice. Here's why

In a real estate market as hot as New York's, it's an anomaly if properties don't sell thisquick. But as in the suburbs, so too in the city. The New York Post has taken a deep dive into why some of the city's prized properties have languished on the market. Some reasons are glaring—listing price, location—but others not so much. Here are the top reasons why some places just don't sell:

Listing Price

It's an obvious one, but some properties are just downright overpriced. Add to that how some sellers are too stubborn to chop the asks of their palatial pads, and it's a recipe for certain death. Take, for instance, the City Spire penthouse, which has been on and off the market since at least 2012 with an unbudging ask of $100 million. You'd think something's gotta give, but nope. Not here. It'll keep on trying for that nine-digit ask 'til hell freezes over, so help us.

Red Tape

Buyers have to take into account the co-op boards that stand between them and their dream homes. The Post writes, "Even in a crazy market, there are some things buyers just aren’t willing to look past: Tacky interior design, a spooky back story, a sub-par floor plan. Even worse is when reconfiguring that floor plan means jumping through the hoops of a persnickety co-op board." Amen to that. Remember that time that Upper West Side co-op board tried to DNA test dogs? Imagine what they'd do if you wanted to bring in demolition crews.


To that end, some layouts just don't showcase the apartment's big-buck location as well as a buyer might want it to. Take, for instance, Tommy Hilfiger's Plaza penthouse. The sprawling penthouse does come with the perk of association with the inimitable hotel, but its living room doesn't look out onto Central Park. "The living room does not have a view [of Central Park]," an experienced broker told the Post, "It’s a trophy property; [people] want to show off." No views, no dice.

Niche Decorating

That penthouse has also garnered negative attention for its particular style of décor. The penthouse underwent a renovation in 2013 that brought it the "glamour of a bygone era" (and a +$30 million price adjustment) that some say pigeonholes it too much. "I wouldn’t decorate my home like that, would you?," the same broker who earlier opined on the penthouse told the Post. Another apartment that's wallowed on the market is advertising executive Ilon Specht's dimly-lit Dakota pad, described (by us) as truly bizarre. The four-bedroom apartment has been on and off the market for no less than the last eight years, most listings of which were accompanied with the same mediocre listing photos.


Some places have no trouble selling despite their pasts, but for others that's a major hold-up. At Staten Island's very own Grey Gardens, the daughters of the house's original owner are said to still roam the grounds as spirits. That all, of course, goes hand-in-hand with what you believe in.