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Toll’s Manhattan Condos Almost Sold Out as Demand Soars

Toll Brothers Inc. (TOL)’s Touraine condominium, a 22-unit property on New York’s Upper East Side, has sold all but one of its units as demand for the city’s new construction rebounds amid a shortage of properties to buy.

“There’s only one left — the penthouse for $20 million,” Douglas Yearley, chief executive officer of the Horsham, Pennsylvania-based homebuilder, said today in an interview on “Bloomberg Surveillance” with Tom Keene.

Manhattan condo developers are seeing strong demand for their properties, with many raising prices on their unbuilt and partially built units, sometimes twice a month. The inventory of homes for sale fell to the lowest in at least 12 years in the fourth quarter, according to appraisal firm Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Sales, meanwhile, were the second-highest in a decade in 2012.

New development accounted for 13 percent of all sales in the fourth quarter, compared with a high of 58 percent in the second quarter of 2006, as the slowdown in new construction in 2009 and 2010 produced little to buy last year.

Toll Brothers has raised prices at the Touraine by about 35 percent since it first priced its units in 2011, according to documents filed with the New York State Attorney General’s office, which reviews condominium plans. The asking value of all the units combined was $122.9 million as of Jan. 8, compared with $91.3 million two years ago.

“New York City is very hot,” Yearley said.

Outdoor Fireplace

The Touraine, at 65th Street near Lexington Avenue, includes amenities such as a rooftop terrace with an outdoor fireplace, private wine lockers and a “well-appointed library” according to Streeteasy.com, a property-listings website. The remaining unit for sale is a 4,346-square foot (404-square- meter) penthouse spanning the 14th and 15th floors, which includes a private elevator that reaches both levels.

Touraine buyers will be able to move in beginning in May, Toll Brothers Chief Financial Officer Martin Connor said in an earnings conference call last month.

In Midtown, the under-construction tower known as 432 Park Avenue has signed buyers for more than one-third of its units, even though the property — on the site of the former Drake Hotel and slated to be Manhattan’s tallest residence — won’t be complete until 2015, the developers said today.

Diverse Buyers

Buyers include “a wide array of prominent New Yorkers as well as national and international purchasers,” Harry Macklowe, one of the developers, said in a statement. His partner in the deal is Los Angeles-based CIM Group.

At 432 Park, prices have climbed 16 percent since July, when the attorney general first approved its sales plan. The value of all apartments totaled $2.73 billion as of this week, according to filings with the attorney general’s office.

Plans for the 1,397-foot (426-meter) property include private wine cellars guaranteeing a climate no warmer than 57 degrees Fahrenheit, and a catered private dining room in which residents must purchase at least $1,200 in meals annually, according to offering plans filed with the attorney general.

Windows in each apartment will measure 10 feet by 10 feet, according to the company statement.

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