Skip to Content
CityRealty Logo
37 West 70th Street 37 West 70th Street
Over the past decade, the demand for larger ultra-luxury co-ops and condos, not to mention townhouses, has surged in Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn. These units comprise the city’s robust super-luxury market —that is, they are properties worth $4 million and up. If you’re lucky enough to be looking for a super-luxury residence, the city provides no shortage of options. Still, deciding what type of property is the best match for your budget and lifestyle can be challenging. This article outlines five things to consider before investing in a New York City super-luxury unit.

In this article:

684 Broadway
684 Broadway NoHo
27 Howard Street
27 Howard Street SoHo
The Majestic, 115 Central Park West
The Majestic, 115 Central Park West Central Park West
The Hampshire House, 150 Central Park South
The Hampshire House, 150 Central Park South Midtown West
101 Central Park West
101 Central Park West Central Park West

Cost of Closing

As a rule, count on your closing cost coming to 2 to 4 percent of your purchase price, whatever type of property you buy. Closing costs include but are not limited to transfer taxes, mansion taxes, bank fees, attorney fees, and broker fees. There are also a few costs that are unique to each property type.

  • Mortgage recording fee (buyers must pay a state and city mortgage tax of 1.925 percent on loans over $500,000)
  • Upfront building fees (board application fee and move-in charges)
  • Transfer taxes (only applies to new units)
  • Mortgage recording fee
  • Upfront building fees (board application fee and move-in charges)
  • Transfer taxes (only applies to sponsor units)
  • Escrow (some buildings may ask for an Escrow ranging from 3 months to several years)

  • Generally, the highest closing costs are incurred when buying new condos. Coops (except sponsor units and those that require a large Escrow) will result in the lowest closing costs.


There are two classes of property in New York City. Class 1 properties contain three or fewer units. Class 2 properties contain four or more units. Single-family townhouses are class 1 properties and coops and condos are class 2 properties. Depending on your class or property and borough, your property taxes can vary widely.
First, consider class 1 properties. Buying a class 1 property in an upscale Brooklyn neighborhood versus Manhattan will result in a much lower tax liability. This reflects the different state equalization rates set for Brooklyn versus Manhattan. The state equalization rate refers to the percent of one's home value on which one pays taxes. In Brooklyn, the rate was just 11.89% in 2020. In Manhattan, the 2020 state equalization rate was set at 36.21%. This means that brownstones in neighborhoods like Park Slope or Cobble Hill are taxed on a substantially lower percentage of their home value than brownstones on the Upper West Side or Harlem.

Brooklyn townhouse owners aren't the only property owners who seem to benefit from the city's and state's unusual property tax laws. Thanks to an outdated law, class 2 properties (coops and condos) are assessed as rental properties. As a result, assessors input the value of coops and condos based on rents in comparable apartment buildings. Generally, this leads to coops and condos being assessed far below their actual value, which generally benefits coop and condo owners, especially those who occupy luxury units.

Coop and Condo Fees versus Maintenance Cost

Coop and condo fees vary widely, even at the luxury level, but only two things are certain: In a coop, fees include taxes, and in a condo, taxes are paid separately. In addition, the more amenities offered, the more fees you're likely to pay overall. But how does this compare to owning a townhouse?

If you own a townhouse, you won't need to pay for amenities you don't plan to use (e.g., a shared roof deck, gym, or playroom). But owning a townhouse does bring many expenses about which coop and condo owners never have to worry, even if they are lumped in with their fees. These expenses range from sidewalk repairs to snow removal to façade repairs. Over time, incidental maintenance on one’s townhome can add up. Even if money isn’t a concern, as a homeowner, you will be solely responsible for ensuring that your property and the sidewalk in front of your property meets city standards.


When you insure a coop or condo, you’re only insuring your own unit. Anything outside your unit is covered by the building’s insurance. While your coop or condo fees are theoretically still helping to pay for this insurance, even when this is taken into account, insurance on a coop or condo is generally significantly lower than insurance on a townhome.


The final and most important consideration, especially if you’re buying a luxury unit, is always going to be lifestyle. Vickey Barron, a licensed real estate broker at Compass explains buyers shopping in the city's super-prime market are looking for space, quality, and of course, location.

Townhouses offer greater privacy and typically more square footage. Vickey emphasizes that the width of a rowhouse is crucial. "High-end buyers are not going to settle for a 17-foot townhouse." Luxury buyers are generally seeking greater volume, which comes from both square footage and ceiling height to create graciously proportioned spaces.

Townhouses are also more likely to provide access to a multi-level living space with greater character. The main downside of purchasing a townhouse, even if maintenance and insurance costs aren’t a concern, is that they tend to demand more attention. So, unless you also employ full-time staff to manage your home's day-to-day upkeep, it can be difficult to put a townhouse on autopilot (e.g., when you retreat to a summer home).

If you’re looking for the charm of a pre-war structure but without the high-level attention needed to manage a townhouse, a classic six in a pre-war coop on Park Avenue, Central Park West, or West End Avenue may be a better option. The major downside of moving into a pre-war coop is that many of these buildings are plagued by aging infrastructure (e.g., they don’t have central air and can’t support in-unit washer and dryer units). Many also offer only limited amenities. For this reason, if you place a high value on convenience, a new luxury condo is likely the best option.
313 West 20th Street is a Chelsea townhouse on the market with grand interiors and private parking

New and Noteworthy High-End Listings

As a New Yorker, your apartment must have some personality. Regardless of its size, your city sanctuary should remind you that you are alive, creative, and living your dreams in the greatest city in the world. Below are two dozen new high-end listings that reflect the seller's creative vision and showcase inspiring spaces crafted by the city's talented designers and artisans.

A majestic pre-war home with a Neo-Gothic carved wood-burning fireplace, and a view + key of Gramercy Park

44 Gramercy Park North, #15A (Sothebys International Realty)

Rare offering with gracious rooms and tree-top views of Prospect Park - Olmstead's perfection of Central Park

The Copley, #8B (Compass)

Front-row views, private elevator access, mudroom, and Brooklyn Bridge Park at your doorstep

Quay Tower, #4B (Serhant LLC)

Wood-burning fireplace + Three bedrooms with en-suite baths and serene Central Park views

239 Central Park West, #12B (Sothebys International Realty)

Gorgeous renovation with iconic bay windows on a landmarked Village block

Butterfield House, #6B (Compass)

Vaulted high ceilings on one of Manhattan's most beautiful streets

34 East 10th Street, #3E (Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales LLC)

A royally grand SoHo loft for memorable parties and gatherings

84 Mercer Street, #4B (Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales LLC)
Would you like to tour any of these properties?
Just complete the info below.
  1. Select which properties are of interest to you:

Or call us at (212) 755-5544

A full-floor loft in the West Village with timber elements and rooftop access

719 Greenwich Street, #3S (Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales LLC)

Motivated seller of a chic Hudson Yards-adjacent condo with a private ionized saltwater pool

Soori High Line, #B3 (Elegran LLC)

Palatial living with a delightful terrace in one of the UES' most beautiful Gilded Age mansions. Former home of Roy Chapman Andrews, the model for Indiana Jones.

The Pulitzer Mansion, #PH (Sothebys International Realty)

Sprawling yet inviting with quadruple exposures and a wrap-around terrace high above West Chelsea

London Terrace Towers, #PHA (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

Living in one of the world's greatest skyscrapers with stupendous views through ornate terra cotta arched windows. And check out the custom walk-in closet with river views

The Woolworth Tower Residences, #41A (Serhant LLC)

Delivering a new and rare 28-foot wide townhouse with elegant archways, a wet bar, and terraces on every level

Post House, # (Serhant LLC)

The antithesis of cookie-cutter with incredible baths and rooftop enjoyment in Tribeca

131 Watts Street, #PH (Avenue)

A forever home in brownstone Brooklyn with geo-thermal heating and cooling, water purification, and smart home tech

246 Clinton Street, # (In House Group)

The extraordinary SoHo loft of your dreams

56 Crosby Street, #2A (Compass)

Designed by Mitchell Owen, this SoHo loft is an inspiring canvas for a new artist-in-residence

104 Wooster Street, #4S (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

A crown jewel of Sutton Place. Timeless and elegant with a wrap-around terrace featuring East River views

14 Sutton Place South, #PHA (Compass)

A grandiose TriBeCa triplex with five curated gardens across each level.

53 Leonard Street, #PH (Compass)

A bespoke retreat with 14' ceilings, zebrawood floors, and a roof deck above Downtown's most avant-garde street

7 Bond Street, #PHAB (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

A farmer's market lookout with serene baths

15 Union Square West, #8B (Nest Seekers LLC)

Private Chelsea townhouse on a tranquil block with a parking garage and a separate apartment

313 West 20th Street, # (Compass)

High above MoMA, structural swagger by Jean Nouvel with show-stopping skyline and park views

53 West 53, #51B (Elegran LLC)

Gracious spaces and killer views by Robert A.M. Stern Architects

200 East 83rd Street, #34A (Compass)

Soft, sweet, and sun-drenched living roosted above the Upper East Side

133 East 64th Street, #PHS (Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales LLC)

The Manhattan dream: A terrace overlooking the Jackie 'O Reservoir

1049 Fifth Avenue, #19B (Olshan Realty Inc)

Extremely elegant brownstone once owned by Perry Ellis moments from Central Park

37 West 70th Street, # (Compass)

A floating trophy triplex penthouse in Carnegie Hill

30 East 85th Street, #PENTHOUSE (Serhant LLC)

Sprawling domain on Central Park West

The Prasada, #Maisonette (Modlin Group LLC)

The Gold Standard of Apartment Living: Voluminous proportions and park views

15 Central Park West, #27D (Redfin Real Estate)

Flawless design and Guggenheim views on Museum Mil

2 East 88th Street, #10 (Compass)

A Chelsea penthouse with an extremely enviable pool deck

55 West 17th Street, #PH (Compass)

Rare and exceptional 23.5-foot wide TriBeCa townhouse with an elevator, radiant heated floors, and a heated rooftop saltwater pool

145 Reade Street, # (Compass)

Three floors of tranquility on the TriBeCa waterfront

67 Vestry Street, #PH (Corcoran Group)

Would you like to tour any of these properties?
Just complete the info below.
  1. Select which properties are of interest to you:

Or call us at (212) 755-5544
Would you like to tour any of these properties?
Contributing Writer Cait Etherington Cait Etherington has over twenty years of experience working as a journalist and communications consultant. Her articles and reviews have been published in newspapers and magazines across the United States and internationally. An experienced financial writer, Cait is committed to exposing the human side of stories about contemporary business, banking and workplace relations. She also enjoys writing about trends, lifestyles and real estate in New York City where she lives with her family in a cozy apartment on the twentieth floor of a Manhattan high rise.