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Manhattan’s townhouse market is facing a decline in sales

Pricey townhouses are spending more time on the market and many eventually sell for steep discounts

8 East 62nd Street
Courtesy Modlin Group

New York City’s luxury apartment market isn’t the only sector of real estate experiencing a cool down. As more and more of Manhattan’s townhouses spend extended periods of time on the market, it has become obvious that the once overzealous market for pricey homes has too taken a back seat.

According to a recent report from Douglas Elliman, median prices for Manhattan townhouses took a tumble by more than five percent last year, after showing year-over-year increases from 2010 onward. The report was first obtained by The Real Deal who notes that on top of occupying more time on the market, many sellers are “showing more willingness to negotiate,” leading to deep discounts for buyers. Here’s a few more stats from TRD:

The number of days a property spent on the market averaged 164 in 2016, up by 47 percent from the previous year. That put the townhouse absorption rate at 16 months, down by about 15 percent from 2015. Meanwhile, the average listing discount — the difference between the asking and final sale price — tripled to 10.7 percent from 2015 to 2016, reflecting sellers’ increased willingness to compromise on price.

Just a quick glimpse through real estate website StreetEasy proves their case in point. Below are a handful of Manhattan townhouses that have been on the market for more than a year and have seen a price chop or two during its stint.

8 East 62nd Street

Courtesy of the Modlin Group

Developer Keith Rubenstein put his 15,000-square-foot Beaux Arts mansion on the market in February 2016 for a whopping $84.5 million. Over a year later, the luxurious home remains listed and hopeful that it will sell for its full asking price, which we assume is why it hasn’t decreased in price.


323 West 74th Street

Courtesy Compass

The onetime home of steel magnate Charles Schwab, with all its Gilded Age glory, hit the market in 2014 for the pricey sum of $22.5 million. Three years and three price chops later, the home remains on the market, despite it’s ask being lowered to $15 million back in September 2016.


160 East 83rd Street

Courtesy Warburg Realty

Nearly $10 million has been shaved off the original $29.5 million asking price for this fancy Upper East Side mansion, which includes five fireplaces, a wood-paneled library, a huge private garden, and an indoor basketball court. Yet somehow, the home remains on the market after more than 570 days.


211 East 62nd Street

Courtesy Sotheby’s International Realty

In some cases, not even having a significant historic background to boasts helps multi-million homes sell, as is the case with the building at 211 East 62nd Street, where Eleanor Roosevelt once took residence. The abode made its market debut many moons ago and has spent time both on and off the market. It’s currently been listed for close to a year and a half and has seen its asking price decrease from as much as $18 million to now just $15.5 million.


327 West 76th Street

Courtesy Brown Harris Stevens

This ultra-luxe Upper West Side townhouse has a history of being difficult to sell. After hitting the market in 2008 for $10 million, it failed to entice a buyer until 2010 when it finally unloaded for $8.8 million. In a true case of history repeating itself, the home reappeared on the market in 2016 asking close to $19 million but hasn’t gotten any luck at that asking price so is now looking to fetch $16.9 million.