Wall Street bonuses and their effects on the sale of luxury apartments in Manhattan? Said to be like the moon and the tide. The Wall Street bonus season reached record heights in 2006 ($23.9 billion), while luxury apartment sales in Manhattan peaked in the first half of 2007 (at over 740), according to the liberal New York-centric weekly newspaper The New York Observer (a paper that loves to dish—in a decidedly gossipy way—about who bought what for how much). Former CEO and chairman of Citigroup, Sandy Weill partook in this year’s feeding frenzy and snatched up a $42.4 million penthouse at the luxury neo-classical Fifteen Central Park West. (Click here to see The Observer’s story).
The last time the NYC luxury real estate market saw this kind of sales boom was in the first half of 2002, when 483 apartments were sold following a $13 billion bonus season in 2001. But the connection between a robust bonus season and the health of elite real estate sales in Manhattan is not axiomatic, says The Observer. In fact, NYC luxury sales slipped lower after 2002, even as Wall Street bonuses continued to climb.Bonuses this year are expected to be hefty, though perhaps not record breaking, says The Observer. The average year-end Wall Street bonus totaled $137,500 in 2006. The average price for a luxury apartment in Manhattan? $5.1 million.