“There is a greater disconnect between the very top of the market and everything else than I have ever seen in my 25 years in the business,” said Jonathan J. Miller, the president of the appraisal firm Miller Samuel.Part of the reason for this, brokers and analysts say, is that the wealthiest buyers are immune to practical matters like stricter lending standards and shrunken Wall Street bonuses…“Most people would say that the top end of the market is bulletproof,” said Pamela Liebman, the president of the Corcoran Group, “and that buyers at this end don’t have the same sensitivities as the rest of the market and their confidence does not wane. There is a reason that Hermès has a waiting list for belts and bags.”

MANHATTAN REAL ESTATE – On the road to recovery, one segment of the market has outpaced the rest: ultraluxury, which analysts roughly define as properties costing $7 million and up. At these lofty heights, there was only the slightest of hiccups after the crash, and in the ensuing years, values have soared, with some apartments doubling in price.Normally, that news would mean rising prices in every other segment of the market, from the tiniest starter studios to family-size four-bedroom co-ops. But that is not happening, even with interest rates at record lows and prices considered reasonable by Manhattan standards.
By Marc Santora, February 10, 2012, NYT

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The co-founder of Garmin, a maker of global-positioning system devices, has found his way to the new AM Stern designed 15 Central Park West and bought the 41st-floor condo for $40 million according to a Jan 6, 12 article in the WSJ.