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Shocker: Rich People Buy NYC Homes And Don't Live In Them

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In a classic case of "The Times is ON it," the paper investigates the world of New York City's pied-a-terres. They make such startling discoveries like the fact that most pied-a-terre buyers are foreign; the higher the price, the more likely it's not permanently lived in; and famously expensive buildings like the Plaza have the most trophy apartments. Some people find these buildings charming as permanent residents, liking the extra privacy and quiet, but many others find "living in a deserted piggy bank" to be lonely. Aw, rich people: they're just like us!

Click through for a map of where the rich folk keep their second (or third or fourth or fifth) homes, and what the Times has to say about each locale.

· Why Buy a Condo You Seldom Use? Because You Can [NYT]

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1. The Plaza

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768 5th Ave.
New York, NY 10019
(212) 759-3000
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A broker who lives in the Plaza estimates that only 10 percent of the owners live there full time—which means about 135 of 150 homes are empty more often than they are lived in. A former resident described sheer excitement when he spotted someone in the building: "When we saw somebody, it was a big thing. 'Oh wow, somebody's in my hallway!'"

2. One Time Warner Center

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10 Columbus Circle
New York, NY

The Time Warner Center seems to be the most transient of the buildings mentioned. A former resident said, "Our next-door neighbors were absolutely lovely, and we saw them maybe once a year." A Corcoran broker who sold in the building for eight years had buyers from all over the world, but not a single one from New York. He also never saw more than one person in the gym. "I've seen Kelly Ripa there. Two little kids were playing with Legos on the treadmill next to her, and there was nobody else." According to a Sotheby's broker, the north tower is just 30 percent permanently occupied, while the south tower hits 60 percent. Is it nicer there?

3. ONE57

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157 West 57th St.
New York, NY 10019
(212) 570-1700
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One57 isn't even finished yet, but we already know that the building will hold the quintessential trophy apartments. As the article says, "The higher the price, the higher the concentration is likely to be of owners who spend only a few months, a few weeks or even just a few days each year in their apartments." Apartments in One57 already fetched upwards of $90 million, and buyers have come from Britain, Canada, China and Nigeria, just to name a few.Photo via New York YIMBY

4. The Touraine

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132 East 65th Street
New York, NY 10065

Toll Brothers' new development the Touraine has attracted 40 percent of its buyers from foreign countries. Apartments here started at $2.5 million, and the penthouse, the only unit still on the market, is asking $19.95 million.Photo by Will Femia

5. 15 Central Park West

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15 Central Park West
New York, NY 10023

While not nearly as empty as many other places, 15 Central Park West holds possibly New York's most famous pied-a-terre: the $88 million penthouse that was purchased by the daughter of Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev. Rybolovlev's wife Elena sued him over the purchase because she said the condo wasn't bought as a place for their daughter to live but rather simply to keep the money out of Elena's hands.

6. Sherry-Netherland Hotel

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781 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10019

The Sherry Netherland wasn't mentioned by the Times, but the article does point out that hotel/condo combination buildings have more pied-a-terres than regular condo buildings. And the Sherry-Netherland is a prime example. Judge Judy recently listed her pied-a-terre here for $9 million.

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1. The Plaza

768 5th Ave., New York, NY 10019

A broker who lives in the Plaza estimates that only 10 percent of the owners live there full time—which means about 135 of 150 homes are empty more often than they are lived in. A former resident described sheer excitement when he spotted someone in the building: "When we saw somebody, it was a big thing. 'Oh wow, somebody's in my hallway!'"

768 5th Ave.
New York, NY 10019

2. One Time Warner Center

10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY

The Time Warner Center seems to be the most transient of the buildings mentioned. A former resident said, "Our next-door neighbors were absolutely lovely, and we saw them maybe once a year." A Corcoran broker who sold in the building for eight years had buyers from all over the world, but not a single one from New York. He also never saw more than one person in the gym. "I've seen Kelly Ripa there. Two little kids were playing with Legos on the treadmill next to her, and there was nobody else." According to a Sotheby's broker, the north tower is just 30 percent permanently occupied, while the south tower hits 60 percent. Is it nicer there?

10 Columbus Circle
New York, NY

3. ONE57

157 West 57th St., New York, NY 10019

One57 isn't even finished yet, but we already know that the building will hold the quintessential trophy apartments. As the article says, "The higher the price, the higher the concentration is likely to be of owners who spend only a few months, a few weeks or even just a few days each year in their apartments." Apartments in One57 already fetched upwards of $90 million, and buyers have come from Britain, Canada, China and Nigeria, just to name a few.Photo via New York YIMBY

157 West 57th St.
New York, NY 10019

4. The Touraine

132 East 65th Street, New York, NY 10065

Toll Brothers' new development the Touraine has attracted 40 percent of its buyers from foreign countries. Apartments here started at $2.5 million, and the penthouse, the only unit still on the market, is asking $19.95 million.Photo by Will Femia

132 East 65th Street
New York, NY 10065

5. 15 Central Park West

15 Central Park West, New York, NY 10023

While not nearly as empty as many other places, 15 Central Park West holds possibly New York's most famous pied-a-terre: the $88 million penthouse that was purchased by the daughter of Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev. Rybolovlev's wife Elena sued him over the purchase because she said the condo wasn't bought as a place for their daughter to live but rather simply to keep the money out of Elena's hands.

15 Central Park West
New York, NY 10023

6. Sherry-Netherland Hotel

781 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10019

The Sherry Netherland wasn't mentioned by the Times, but the article does point out that hotel/condo combination buildings have more pied-a-terres than regular condo buildings. And the Sherry-Netherland is a prime example. Judge Judy recently listed her pied-a-terre here for $9 million.

781 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10019