A Manhattan condominium owned by a financially troubled Italian film producer was sold in a foreclosure auction for $33.2 million, the highest price paid for Manhattan apartment this year and a sign that New York real estate prices are stabilizing.Trump International Hotel, where a 5,500-square-foot apartment owned by an Italian producer was sold for a 2010 Manhattan record price.A Chinese businessman who was not identified purchased the 5,500-square-foot apartment with 20-foot ceilings and views of Central Park that had been owned by Vittorio Cecchi Gori, the producer of more than 200 films including "Il Postino" and "Life is Beautiful." The new buyer paid the lofty price of more than $6,000 a square foot even though the apartment was in ruins after being gutted by Mr. Cecchi Gori for a renovation. The sale closed on Monday.The price in the current deal underscores signs of recovery in luxury housing in Manhattan in the last few months, after an extended period of sluggish sales and falling prices. It followed a series of high closing prices on other luxury cooperatives and condominiums last December.
By Josh Barbanel, March 24, 2010 WSJ

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