The 10 Most Expensive U.S. Home Sales of 2020 Show NYC Isn’t Dead

This was not New York’s year from any angle, and real estate was no exception.

By the end of September, the volume of Manhattan co-op and condo sales was down 43% year over year, according to a report by Douglas Elliman, as sellers held back from listing their apartments and buyers increasinglygravitated toward the suburbs.

Still, looking at the top residential real estate sales of 2020, it seems one demographic—the super rich—has committed to New York for the long haul. 

Of the top 10 national sales compiled by Jonathan Miller, president and chief executive officer of Miller Samuel appraisers, five were in 220 Central Park South, a new luxury tower on Central Park designed by architects at Robert A.M. Stern.

“A high-profile, specific super-luxury subset seems, at least for the time being, to be impervious to general market conditions,” says Miller. The five sales, each of which went into contract at least three years ago, “show us how vastly disconnected [220 Central Park South] is from the rest of the market.”

Another trend from this year, namelyrich people “fleeing” New York for Florida, didn’t manage to trickle up to the highest tier. Only two of this year’s top 10 sales were in Palm Beach; last year there were three.

Even the three Los Angeles entries diverge slightly from conventional 2020 narratives. Yes, the L.A. market is one of the few urban bright lights this year, with sales soaring and inventory hard to come by. But numbers at the very top are down from last year, when it notched four entries in the top 10, totaling $463 million. This year there were three, totaling $293 million.

In fact, this year’s top 10 saw an overall decline in value of nearly 35%. The 2019 total was a hefty $1.2 billion; this year it was $783 million. 

Check out below to see what made the cut.

$165 Million for “the Warner Estate” in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Reportedly purchased by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos from music producer David Geffen, the 9.4-acre estate dates to the 1930s and set a new record for L.A.-area real estate. 

$99.9 Million for Penthouse 76 at 220 Central Park South in New York

The duplex on the 76th and 77th floors has about 9,000 square feet of interior space, with four bedrooms and five full baths.

$71.9 million for 8 S. Lake Trail in Palm Beach, Fla.

The two-acre property wassold for more than a $40 million profit in just three years. The seller bought the property in 2017 for $27 million, for a neat 55% annual return.

$70 Million for 1095 North Ocean Blvd. in Palm Beach, Fla.

The former Kennedy family estate (sold in the 1990s)was renovated by the seller in 2015.

$68 Million for 911 Foothill Rd. in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Remember David Geffen from entry  No. 1? He’sreportedly taken some of his gains and put them into this 3.3-acre property that features an 18,500-square-foot house designed by Richard Meier. Call it a downsize.

$63 Million for Unit 72 at 220 Central Park South in New York

The nearly 6,000-square-foot apartment was purchased by someone who apparently felt that the view is worth more than $10,000 per square foot.

$62.6 Million for Unit 71 at 220 Central Park South in New York

The four-bedroom apartment reportedly includes a library, a dining room, and a wisp-thin 100 square feet of terrace space.

$61.6 Million for Unit 69 at 220 Central Park South in New York

The full-floor unit closed in September, having gone into contract in 2018.

$61 Million for Unit 70 at 220 Central Park South in New York

Like the apartments above and below it, this mansion in the sky measures just under 6,000 square feet and has views that stretch past the George Washington Bridge 120 blocks north.

$60 Million for 10721 Stradella Court in Bel Air, Calif.

The 21,000 square-foot home wasreportedly purchased by George Ruan, a co-founder of the coupon-app Honey. The nine-bedroom home sits on just over an acre of land.

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