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Toll Buys Condo Development Sites in New York, Maryland

Toll Brothers Inc. (TOL), the largest U.S. luxury-home builder, purchased two development sites in Manhattan, expanding its condominium business in the most expensive U.S. urban residential market.

Toll bought the sites at 953-961 First Ave., between 52nd and 53rd streets, and 82 King St., between Hudson and Varick streets, the Horsham, Pennsylvania-based company said today in a statement. The buildings will also have retail space. Purchase prices weren’t disclosed.

The acquisitions will be Toll’s seventh and eighth buildings in Manhattan, and its 22nd and 23rd in the metro New York City area. The company also has properties in the Brooklyn borough and in New Jersey’s Hoboken and Jersey City under its City Living division.

“We have continued to expand in order to take advantage of the strong dynamics of this market,” Douglas Yearley, Toll’s chief executive officer, said in the statement.

Manhattan’s inventory of homes for sale plunged to the lowest in at least 12 years at the end of December, appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. said in a Jan. 3 report with Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Fourth-quarter sales surged 29 percent to 2,598, the highest for the period since at least 1987.

Toll also said it is expanding City Living to the Washington area. The company purchased a development site in Bethesda, Maryland, at 4915 Hampden Lane. Construction on the property, three blocks from the Bethesda metro station, is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2013, the company said today in a separate statement.

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