Sunday, September 20, 2009

Top This, Neighbor!

Posted by Stefanie Marty


Published: September 18, 2009

SINCE the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers a year ago, the developer Aby Rosen has repeatedly cut the asking price on a newly renovated town house at 3 East 94th Street, by nearly 20 percent, to $23.75 million from $29.5 million.

With its 50-foot indoor pool, whirlpool bath, sauna, 1,000-bottle temperature-controlled wine cellar and seven wood-burning fireplaces, it seemed perfect for a newly minted baron of finance, but the species was suddenly in short supply.

However, late last month, just before the start of the fall selling season and the promise of a new wave of Wall Street bonuses, the town house’s price was bumped up by $1 million to $24.75 million. The jump is part of a boomlet of optimism that is rippling through the luxury real estate market, after a forgettable year of decline and gloom.

Mr. Rosen is one of a number of sellers of expensive properties who, contrary to conventional wisdom, have begun to toy with higher asking prices, despite declining prices elsewhere in the marketplace.

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