The Upper East Side’s Best Residential Brokers

Barbara Russo, Danielle Englebardt and Oren and Tal Alexander (Getty, iStock, BFA)

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UPDATED: 05/19/2022 10:00 a.m. No other Manhattan neighborhood has as much glamorous heritage as the Upper East Side, where luxury new buildings rise just steps from Golden Age mansions and homes in the park’s towers and exclusive co-ops are some of the most expensive in town.

Agents who manage to cut a thick slice of this $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 developments and resales are different animals, of course, and Corcoran’s Cathy Franklin rules the UES resale market, with over $159 in sales, followed by Brown Harris Stevens’ John Burger with a volume of nearly $124 million. Barbara Russo of Elliman, Danielle Englebardt and the Alexander team sold the most new developments.

The overall champion in terms of sales volume was Russo d’Elliman, which recorded more than $340 million in sales last year in 64 transactions – all at Beckford House and Beckford Tower, a pair of new luxury buildings in the 301 East 80th Street and 301 East 81st Street.

Danielle Englebardt, another Elliman agent who worked with Russo on 61 of those Beckford listings, came in second with nearly $333 million in Upper East Side sales, also from 64 deals.

Elliman’s Alexander team, led by brothers Tal and Oren, ranked No. 3 with over $200 million in UES volume in 35 trades.

All three also ranked at the top of TRD’s brokerage rankings for all of Manhattan, with Team Alexander 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 of The Corcoran Group, with a volume of $159 million from 22 sales. Brown Harris Stevens’ John Burger rounded out the top five, booking nearly $124 million in sales based on just nine deals.

Burger sold three of the 20 most expensive homes sold on the UES last year, as did Sotheby’s International Realty’s Serena Boardman, ranked No. 6, and Adam Modlin, ranked No. 7.

To rank the top performing brokers in the Upper East Side river park region by sell-side trades, The real deal pulls listings of luxury residential properties ($1 million or more) as of 2021 in the Lenox Hill, Yorkville, Upper East Side, Carnegie Hill and Upper Carnegie Hill neighborhoods. (See neighborhood maps at the end of the story.) We then cross-referenced them with completed deals in public records and verified the results with brokerages.

Off-market transactions and transactions brokered internally by the developers’ own sales teams have been excluded.

Ninth-place finisher Paula Del Nunzio of BHS deserves a special mention for her $70 million total that was closed in just two townhouse deals, including the sale of Florida Panthers owner Vince’s Lenox Hill mansion. Viola, at 12 East 69th Street for $59 million – the biggest UES home sale of 2021.

Modlin sold the second most expensive property of the year – 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 Carnegie Hill penthouse, which sold for $45 million, and Rafael Nasser’s triplex atop 990 Fifth Avenue, which s sold for $35 million.

With its agents dominating the top ten spots, it’s no surprise that Elliman is the Upper East Side’s top brokerage, with over $1.3 billion in volume from 261 trades. Corcoran trails far behind with $513 million in sales in 99 deals, followed by Compass with $380 million in 124 deals. BHS ranked fourth with $257 million in volume from 38 deals, and Sotheby’s rounded out the top five with $188 million from 31 deals.

Lenox Hill map
Map of Yorkville
Map of the Upper East Side
Map of Upper Carnegie Hill