Aug 5, 2021
Garrett Derderian

Nearly Half of Billionaires’ Row Remains Unsold

Billionaires’ Row is the collection of ultra-luxury residential skyscrapers that line the southern end of Central Park. Construction on the first residential tower, One57, began in 2009. Shortly thereafter, six additional skyscrapers were built. Today, developments that are included in Billionaires’ Row are 157 West 57th Street, 432 Park Avenue, 111 West 57th Street, 53 West 53rd Street, 520 Park Avenue, 217 West 57th Street, and 220 Central Park South.

For this study, we analyzed recorded sales and known pending sales (contracts signed). In total, there are 772 condos that make up the market, of which 341, or 44%, remain unsold. The total value of all units is just over $17 billion of which $6.758 billion, 39.7%, is unsold.

 

Price Comparison

Overall, the average price of a home that sold on Billionaires’ Row is $22.452 million. The most expensive properties are at 220 Central Park South, where the average sale price is $37.396 million. That is followed by 520 Park Avenue, at $29.481 million, and 111 West 57th Street at $28.533 million. 432 Park Avenue, the building furthest along in its sales process, saw units sell for an average of $24.001 million. 53 West 53rd Street houses the most affordable properties, with completed sales averaging just $6.288 million. However, 53 West 53rd Street has significantly more 1-bedroom residences than any other development, skewing the figure lower. One57, the original development on Billionaires’ Row, averages a sale price of $13.942 million.

Penthouse Sales

The most lucrative sales on Billionaires’ Row are the penthouses. The scarcity of these homes has resulted in significant appreciation that has outpaced the broader market. The average price of a penthouse on Billionaires’ Row is $76.943 million, a premium of 243% over the average Billionaires’ Row sale. Notably, penthouse sales have been some of the most competitive. Their limited nature relative to the broader submarket has created an asset class of its own within the ultra-prime market. 

 

Building-by-Building Analysis

One57

While nearly half of Billionaires’ Row remains unsold, the discrepancies vary widely by development. One57 at 157 West 57th Street was the first development to launch sales. Initial home sales sold at an average of just 0.2% off the offering price. At the time it was constructed, One57 was the pinnacle of the ultra-luxury market, having created an entirely new asset class. The only development that compared prior was 15 Central Park West. However, 11% of the building remains unsold, and resale units are selling at substantial discounts. The average discount on a resale property from the prior sale price is 25.4%, indicating the building has not held its value in the way many initially believed it would.

432 Park Avenue

432 Park Avenue has been the best-selling building; only one sponsor unit remains unsold. This development saw units sell at an initial discount of 9.1% off the offering price. The building has sold nearly $3.1 billion worth of condos, the second highest grossing total, just behind 220 Central Park South. Resales in the development have sold at just 0.4% off from the previous sale price, with many selling at a premium over the previous sale price, indicating the building has held its value and remains one of the most desirable addresses in New York.

220 Central Park South

220 Central Park South saw its units sell at just 1.8% off their offering prices, making this the second-best sales offering following the initial success of One57. It has the second highest sellout among the developments, just behind Central Park Tower at 217 West 57th Street. Currently, nearly $3.2 billion worth of sales have occurred, the highest grossing total of any development. 220 Central Park South units have undoubtably held their value, with resale units not selling at a discount, but a 28.3% premium over their previous sale prices. 220 Central Park South also has the second highest sellout rate, following 432 Park Avenue.

Central Park Tower

Central Park Tower, being the most recent addition to the skyline, has the greatest number of available homes, accounting for 47% of all unsold units and 55% of unsold value. Given the challenges brought on by the pandemic and glut of available homes, units that have closed sold for an average of 11.2% off their offering price. It remains to be seen if this development will more closely mirror One57, with resales selling at substantial discounts, or 220 Central Park South, where units are selling at a premium. The complete sellout of the building could exceed ten years based on the current pace of sales.

53 West 53rd Street

53 West 53rd Street is the slowest moving development on Billionaires’ Row. It has been for sale for six years and 66% of its units remain unsold. Only 53 West 53rd Street and Central Park Tower still have over 100 units each to sell. Notably, this is the southernmost development that is included in the submarket. As a result, many of the units do not command the same views or price premiums the other developments can generate. 53 West 53rd Street is also unique in that it has a greater concentration of smaller, 1-bedroom units, that the other developments do not have. Given its central Midtown location, it will likely sell at a slower pace than the other developments, and its success will be more closely tied to the recovery of the Midtown market overall, especially as it relates to a return to the office and the ability for international travel to resume at its pre-pandemic level.

111 West 57th Street & 520 Park Avenue

111 West 57th Street is the skinniest skyscraper on Billionaires’ Row and has had a prolonged sales process that paused for a period of time as the market shifted. Currently, 75% of the building is unsold. Of the units that did sell, they had the highest discount rate on initial launch, with closed sales currently averaging 15.4% off list price. 520 Park Avenue still has 20% of its units unsold. These homes sold at the next highest discount rate, 13.8%. Still, most of its ultra-premium penthouse units have sold. 520 Park Avenue is the most boutique building of the set, with just 35 units. Resale units have not held their value, with resales selling for an average of 25.8% below their previous sale price, on par with resales at One57.

Concluding Remarks

The success of developments that make up Billionaires’ Row varies greatly by development. 220 Central Park South is one of the most lucrative projects to date and is home to the most expensive sale in the United States. Similarly, 432 Park Avenue has been the best performing development and currently houses the most expensive publicly listed home for sale in the United States (note: SERHANT. is representing the Penthouse listing, currently on the marker for $169 million). Conversely, the original Billionaires’ Row tower, One57, has struggled to retain its value as a new crop of developments began dotting the southern edge of Central Park. Over the next decade, the full picture of how well these properties retain their value will be more understood.