Postcard from... New York

 

It’s tough to be neighbourly when you live in a place like Manhattan. Just the people living on my block would make for a decent-sized town on the high plains. Still, I will be sure to make a habit of waving in the direction of one home  I walk by each day on my way to work. Morning Rupert, hope all is well. If you can see me.

Of course the whole point of Rupert Murdoch shelling out almost $51m (£31m) for the top four floors of the elegant One Madison tower that pierces the sky on the south side of Madison Square Park is that he won’t be able to see me or anyone else from that  altitude. He will be 60 floors up. And, far more importantly, no one will be able to see him.

If that seems a lot of money, by the way, it is. He actually paid roughly $41m for the triplex that crowns the building and the rest went on another full-floor apartment beneath it. It was one of only two home sales in Manhattan in the first quarter to break the $50m barrier, both  helping to drive a new  home sales boom.

So far this year, the average price for an apartment on the island has risen 19 per cent to $972,428, according to figures released yesterday. That means the market has now risen above where it was in 2008 before the great recession. There are signs meanwhile that native New Yorkers are being priced out of their own town. Another interesting recent statistic: about half of the buyers in new luxury developments are coming from overseas.

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