We have been obsessed with Zaha Hadid’s first New York Luxury Condo project, located along the High Line at 520 W 28 Street, ever since we first heard about it a few years ago. Zaha Hadid, the only female Pritzker Prize winner, is one of the most talked about architects in the world, having a very distinctive personal design aesthetic that eschews typical rectangles and squares that define most architecture. Inside and out, the space-age building in West Chelsea features organic shapes that result in a very attractive and one-of-a-kind design; even much of the glass curtain wall has rounded corner glass details.
The Manhattan real estate market continues to be very strong. Prices are up 7% from one year ago, with the average condo selling for $1,589 per sq. ft. and luxury condos selling for $2,551 per square foot. Buyers, however, continue to have a difficult time finding properties, as inventory remains low. This forced a 13% decline in sales activity of condos. Had there been more properties for sale, sales activity would have been much higher. We see the trend of low inventory continuing, even as more new development comes on the market.
The Manhattan condo market results for Q1 2015 are in and the results were quite positive, setting the tone for a good 2015. During the quarter, Manhattan had the highest number of sales for any first quarter in over 6 years and closed sales increased 12% vs. the same period in 2014. Inventory tightened further, as days on the market dropped. The market continues to be undersupplied, but 2015 may bring some relief in terms of new development. However, with activity so high - buyers signed contracts at a record pace in the quarter for properties priced over $4 million during the quarter – we believe 2015 will still be a seller’s market.