New York's multimillion dollar home sales keep soaring

Condo buildings get taller, skinnier

When it comes to New York City real estate, the billionaires are on a buying spree.

Sales of multimillion dollar residential properties are up 120% so far this year, according to CityRealty.

While median home prices for the U.S. overall are pretty much back to where they were 10 years ago, Manhattan's luxury home prices have more than doubled, according to Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel, a real estate appraisal firm in New York.

"I used to say that $1,500 a square foot was the magic number; now it's $3,000 a square foot," said Miller.

And the prices keep climbing.

This year alone, there were 165 homes that sold for $10 million or more in Manhattan. That's up from 75 last year.

Among the biggest sales of the year: A co-op at 740 Park Avenue sold for $71.3 million to hedge fund billionaire Israel Englander.

Close behind was the penthouse at 960 Fifth Avenue, which brought in $70 million when it was sold to Nassef Sawiris, dubbed Egypt's richest man by Forbes.

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This Columbus Circle condo with great views of Central Park is listed for $31.5 million.

Yet, so far no deal has broken the record set in 2012 by Ekaterina Rybolovlev, the daughter of Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who bought a Central Park West condo for $88 million to use while attending classes at Columbia University, according to a family representative.

While many of the highly publicized home sales have been to foreign nationals, 11 out of 18 of this year's biggest deals were to Americans, according to CityRealty. Among international buyers, only China, with two, had more than one purchase.

One of the reasons these mega deals keep coming is that the wealthy bounced back from the recession faster and more intensely than the rest of us, especially when it comes to the rapid stock market run up of the past few years.

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Park Avenue is one of New York's most fashionable addresses. This place is listed for $39.5 million.

There are also a lot more high-end condos and co-ops to choose from.

Many of this year's sales have taken place at the new, super-luxury buildings that are popping up in neighborhoods just south of Central Park, the Upper East Side and in Chelsea, said Pam Liebman, CEO of Corcoran Group.

Related: What $25 million buys around the world

The cost of acquiring land to build on in Manhattan is so sky-high that builders are aiming for the very high end and charging many millions for the apartments.

"That's the only way the math works," said Liebman.

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This aerie high above Central Park South is priced at $35 million.

For a while demand for these super luxury homes outstripped supply. But with a flood of new buildings coming, there are now plenty of sky-high penthouses to please most of the world's billionaires.

Next year, the sale prices could be even more astronomic. The listing price for the penthouse at 520 Park Avenue, for example, is $130 million, far surpassing any sale ever made in the Big Apple.

*Clarification: An earlier version of this story stated that the condo was purchased by Dmitry Rybolovlev for his daughter. A representative for Rybolovlev stated that Ekaterina Rybolovlev purchased the property for herself.

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