Celebrities in NYC
(Swift: Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

New York City has always been home to plenty of celebrities. With fame comes fortune, of course — and in NYC, with fortune comes ultra-high-end real estate. The past year has seen some jaw-dropping deals, as celebrities in NYC bought, sold, listed, and otherwise engaged in a multimillion-dollar game of musical chairs with townhouses and penthouses. Let’s take a look at some of the most-talked-about celebrity real-estate deals of 2019!

Celebrities Who Bought NYC Homes in 2019

The highest-ticket celeb purchase of the year was not from a Hollywood star but a star of the business world: Jeff Bezos. The Amazon giant may not be building a corporate headquarters in Long Island City anymore, but that didn’t stop him from buying a personal headquarters of sorts in NoMad: In June, Bezos purchased three condos at 212 Fifth Avenue for a total of $80 million.

Celebrity power couple Emily Blunt and John Krasinski put down roots in Brooklyn Heights in January, closing on two units that comprise an entire floor at The Standish overlooking the Promenade. The pair bought both units for a combined $11 million, and they are not the only big-name stars in the building: Matt Damon owns a penthouse there.

Speaking of penthouses, fashion god Giorgio Armani closed on a doozy on Central Park West in November. The unit is really more castle than apartment, with massive fireplaces, imposing carved wood, and positively majestic stained-glass windows overlooking the park. Did we mention the 1,700 square feet of wraparound terrace space? In word, it is epic.

But there’s epic, and then there’s A-Rod. Alex Rodriguez, former Yankees superstar and current J-Lo fiancé, went into contract on not just an apartment but an entire apartment building in Turtle Bay in September. Purchased through his investment company, the building has 115 rental units, which means that at least 115 people on East 51st Street can now call A-Rod “my landlord.” How’s that for a celebrities-in-NYC story?

Manhattan Homes Under $1M Article continues below

Celebrities Who Sold NYC Homes in 2019

Did someone say A-Rod? He and Jennifer Lopez also sold their Park Avenue condo in June for $15.75 million, which was more than a million below its asking price. Good thing Jenny From the Block has her upcoming Super Bowl performance to take her mind off the loss.

celebrities in nyc - jlo arod
(Lopez/Rodriguez: Getty Images)

Moving from J-Lo to J-Law, Jennifer Lawrence put her Upper East Side penthouse on the market in July for $15.45 million. Despite being drop-dead gorgeous, it too has undergone a rather dramatic price chop and is now asking $12 million.

Two very different types of design superstars offered Manhattan townhouses for sale this year: Fashion icon Marc Jacobs listed his exceptionally stylish West Village home in April for $15.9 million, decamping with his new husband to a Frank Lloyd Wright home in Westchester. The price has since been lowered to $14.5 million. And after legendary architect I.M. Pei passed away in May (he was 102 years old!), his longtime Sutton Place home hit the market for $8 million. As you might imagine, the home is absolutely stunning and 100 percent class.

The incomparable Bette Midler bid adieu to the Museum Mile triplex that was her longtime home this September, listing it for a whopping price that matches her outsized personality: a cool $50 million. A month later, down in Hell’s Kitchen, Christina Hendricks’s much smaller apartment hit the market for a much smaller price – $1.25 million. But it’s a beauty, and no less fabulous for its single bedroom.

celebrities in nyc - bette midler
(Midler: Getty Images)

A lot of bold-face names seemed to be unloading their Brooklyn homes this year as well. Indie royalty Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard listed their Park Slope brownstone in January for $4.6 million. The four-story home, which dated to the 1880s, is chock full of beautifully preserved original details as well as quirky modern touches, like an outdoor tub in the garden.

Singer/songwriter Norah Jones also listed an impressive Brooklyn townhouse, this one in Cobble Hill, in November. Hers is similarly full of beautiful quirks but has a much higher price tag: $8 million. (To be fair, how many Cobble Hill homes have their own private, heated in-ground pool in the backyard?)

And over in Williamsburg, Lena Dunham put her loft back on the market in the spring, after pulling it off the market in 2018. The 2,000-square-foot corner unit, which has 13-foot ceilings and beautiful river views, sold in June for $2.6 million.

Brooklyn Homes Under $1M Article continues below

Let’s Not Forget Taylor Swift!

Like we ever could. The superstar singer may not have bought or sold any real estate in the city this year, but she caused quite a stir in the world of NYC celeb real estate nonetheless. How, you ask? Why, by including a song about NYC real estate on her new album, which came out in August: “Cornelia Street,” on the album “Lover,” is literally about a townhouse Swift once rented on Cornelia Street in the West Village. Yes, it is a real place, yes, it is gorgeous, and no, unfortunately, it is not for sale.

Inspired to find your next place in New York? Whether you’re looking to rent or to buy, search NYC apartments on StreetEasy.