"The high-end market, which is what a lot of these celebrities are buying in, has held up surprisingly well compared to the overall market nationally and even the overall market in New York," Elliott said. "The thinking is just that there's lots of people with lots of money out there, and they're still spending."
The Real Deal recently produced a feature detailing who bought what at one of the city's most exclusive addresses -- 15 Central Park West.
The new condominium development overlooks Central Park and includes units ranging in price from $690,000 to more than $40 million. Actor Denzel Washington, Nascar driver Jeff Gordon and, most recently, Sting have all purchased homes there.
Sting bought his condo for $26.5 million, city records show.
Many of the building's buyers purchased units one to two years ago, while the development was still under construction, Elliott said.
"Not until the building is completed does the deal actually close," he said. "When the deeds are filed, you get a window into what these high-end units are fetching."
Elliott said that the construction of more condominiums in the city has made it easier for celebs to buy in New York.
When stars looked to buy in co-op buildings, he said, they often found themselves stymied by wary co-op boards.
"People in co-op buildings sometimes just don't want the traffic that a celebrity is going to bring in, or their entourages, or to have paparazzi stationed outside," Elliott said. "Condo ownership is just more amenable to like a celebrity lifestyle in a way."
Madonna last month bought a $7 million apartment in Harperley Hall, a co-op building on Central Park West, but it was no simple purchase: Last year, the singer, who already owned one apartment in the building, filed a lawsuit against the building's co-op board, claiming it wrongfully blocked her second purchase.
It wasn't the Material Girl's first dust-up with a co-op board: In 1985, she was rejected by the board of the San Remo, another co-op on Central Park West.
Though some celebs may find it hard to get into the New York buildings of their choice, the real estate agents charged with finding would-be homes for the stars may have a tougher lot.
Lauren Muss, the senior vice president of the Corcoran Group, said that it's not unusual for celebrities with busy schedules or for those who live outside of New York to send assistants to preview apartments with real estate agents before joining in the hunt themselves.