The Top Residential Brokers on the Upper East Side
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UPDATED: 5/19/2022 10:00AM No other area of Manhattan has the legacy of glamor as the Upper East Side, where new luxury buildings rise just steps away from Gilded Age mansions and homes in the area’s parkside towers and exclusive co-ops are among the most expensive in the city.
The agents who manage to cut a thick slice of that $3 billion annual market can book eye-popping volume, with the top five UES brokers of 2021 alone making more than $1 billion in sales between them.
New development and resales are different animals, of course, and Corcoran’s Cathy Franklin rules the resale market on the UES, with more than $159 in sales, followed by John Burger of Brown Harris Stevens with nearly $124 million in volume. Elliman’s Barbara Russo, Danielle Englebardt and the Alexander Team sold the most new development.
The overall champion in terms of sales volume was Elliman’s Russo, who last year booked more than $340 million in sales there across 64 deals — all of them at Beckford House and Beckford Tower, a pair of new luxury condo buildings at 301 East 80th Street and 301 East 81st Street.
Danielle Englebardt, a fellow Elliman agent who worked with Russo on 61 of those Beckford listings, came in a close second with nearly $333 million in Upper East Side sales, also across 64 deals.
Elliman’s Alexander Team, led by brothers Tal and Oren, ranked No. 3 with more than $200 million in UES volume in 35 deals.
All three also placed high in TRD’s broker leaderboard for all of Manhattan, with the Alexander Team ranking No. 2 on the overall list, just ahead of Russo, and Englebardt taking fifth place.
Fourth place on the overall list went to Cathy Franklin at the Corcoran Group, with $159 million in volume across 22 sales. John Burger of Brown Harris Stevens rounded out the top five, booking nearly $124 million in sales on the strength of just nine deals.
Burger sold three of the top 20 most expensive homes sold on the UES last year, as did No. 6-ranked Serena Boardman of Sotheby’s International Realty and No. 7-ranked Adam Modlin.
To rank the top-performing brokers in the park-to-river Upper East Side area by sell-side transactions, The Real Deal pulled listings for luxury residential properties ($1 million or more) from 2021 in the neighborhoods of Lenox Hill, Yorkville, the Upper East Side, Carnegie Hill and Upper Carnegie Hill. (See neighborhood maps at end of story.) We then cross-referenced them with closed deals in public records and vetted the results with the brokerages.
Off-market transactions and deals brokered in-house by developers’ own sales teams were excluded.
Tenth-place Paula Del Nunzio of BHS deserves special mention for her $70 million total that came in just two townhouse deals, including the sale of Florida Panthers owner Vince Viola’s Lenox Hill mansion at 12 East 69th Street for $59 million — the biggest UES home sale of 2021.
Modlin sold the year’s second-priciest property — convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s notorious townhouse at 9 East 71st Street — which sold for $51 million to former Goldman Sachs Michael Daffey.
Burger brokered the sale of the third and fourth most expensive UES homes — Bette Midler’s penthouse in Carnegie Hill, which sold for $45 million, and Rafael Nasser’s triplex atop 990 Fifth Avenue, which sold for $35 million.
With its agents dominating the top ten spots, it is no surprise that Elliman is the top brokerage on the Upper East Side, with more than $1.3 billion in volume across 271 deals. Corcoran comes in a distant second with $513 million in sales in 99 deals, followed by Compass with $327 million in 114 deals. BHS ranked fourth with $257 million in volume across 38 deals, and Sotheby’s rounded out the top five with $188 million in 31 deals.