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By Brett Malvin | Agent in New York, NY

Plaza Hotel condos sell for $19 million

The Wall Street Journal is reportingthat two adjacent condos in the Plaza Hotel were sold for $19 million, which will certainly be yet another boon to the luxury real estate market in NYC, which has experienced quite the surge in recent weeks. WSJ is reporting that the buyer is Barbara Garza, a director of Mexican bottler Coca-Cola Femsa, in a deal that closed last week after a rather short negotiating period.

What's surprising about the sale is that the previous buyer had purchased the two units just four years ago. In 2007, author and interior designer Gigi Mahon bought both apartments for around $14 million, yielding a $5 million profit in four short years, or over a 35% ROI!

This might surprise many who read about the economic downtown and the collapsing housing market in America, but it demonstrates one little-known fact about the real estate market in New York City: Manhattan is different. It always has been different and it always will be, so even if a rash of foreclosures are depressing the real estate market nationwide, the luxury market in Manhattan remains strong.

This also means that naysayers about the Manhattan market should be taken with a grain of salt. In 2005, Gothamistscoffed at asking prices in the same building, but Mahon is $5 million richer for not listening to them.

Not only that, but Mahon was able to sell the units for significantly more than market averages, suggesting a rise in sales prices might be on the way. The two adjacent condos sold for a total of $4,985 per square foot, which is significantly higher than condos in the area usually get, but still significantly less than Mahon's original asking price of $22.5 million, which seems to me to be more grandstanding than anything else. Also worth noting is the fact that the units were never combined; they are still marked as 501 and 502 and were sold as a pair, and the listing was vague on whether zoning or building laws prohibit combining the two. With 3,811 square feet between them and over 1,500 square feet of terrace space overlooking Central Park, there is no lacking for space even if the units stay separated.

Now, Columbus Circle is less two luxury units, but there are still plenty more available for much less than $19 million! Have a look on our website for exclusive and MLS listings, or give one of our agents a call at 1-877-852-6636.

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