Lavish Apartments Turned Recession Bargains

Photo: Expensive ApartmentsCourtesy Brown Harris Stevens

Champagne wishes and caviar dreams are a bit closer for many Americans today -- at least when it comes to real estate.

That luxury $15 million apartment that you once might have dreamed of is now on sale for $12 million. Okay, so it's still not within the reach of most working families today but for those who have a few million sitting around, there are some fantastic deals to be found.

Take New York. The median price for a Manhattan apartment fell 19 percent over the last year, to $795,000, its lowest level since the second quarter of 2007, according to a recent report by Halstead Property.

Luxury homes there suffered the most, with an 82 percent decline in closings for more than $10 million at cooperative apartment buildings.

Florida -- one of the first states to see its housing market collapse -- is also offering some great deals. What was once hot and trendy in Miami and Palm Beach is now priced to sell.

ABC News asked local real estate agents in the two areas for a sampling of some of the best luxury bargains on the market today. Here they are:

1 Lexington Ave., New York: These days, a beautiful duplex home in New York's Gramercy Park originally designed by Eric Kohler may be a real bargain at $3.595 million. Originally listed at $5.3 million in October 2007, the co-op apartment features three bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms (the master and second bathrooms come complete with radiant heat flooring) and an outdoor terrace. Other amenities include soundproof windows, floor-to-ceiling French doors and a windowed breakfast room.

502 Park Ave., New York: How does a $20 million price cut sound to you? Pretty impressive, right? Well, this Park Avenue penthouse will still set you back $31 million, but at least that's a lot cheaper than the original asking price. Broker Adam Modlin told the New York Post that "you have to do something dramatic, like a $20 million price cut, to get people's attention." After 54 weeks on the market, maybe that's the case, but this four-bedroom penthouse developed by Donald Trump boasts a giant outdoor terrace and 6,200 square feet of living space.

901 Brickell Key, Miami: A 50-percent-plus price drop is questionably insane, especially for this amazing two-story Miami penthouse. Incredible views over the bay, the Miami River and the sprawling city make this 4,418 sq. ft apartment a steal. Down to $1.95 million from an initial $4.2 million, this space doesn't just have wrap-around balconies; it boasts an entire private deck with ample room for activity. Exquisite stone flooring and a fully-equipped luxury kitchen are simply accents to this spacious high-rise penthouse, which also features space for five vehicles.

68 Bradhurst Ave., New York: This three-bedroom penthouse duplex will wow you with its soaring 18-foot ceilings and sun-flooded living room. For an even better view, why not step out onto your own 300-square-foot terrace and gaze out at the surrounding Harlem neighborhood. The original asking price here was $955,000 and is now $859,000. The building includes a 24-hour attended lobby and a gym, and to help make ownership more affordable, there is city tax abatement aimed at redeveloping the area.

800 S. Pointe Drive, Miami: Exclusive waterfront condos aren't hard to come by in Miami, but finding one that won't cost you an arm and a leg can be a daunting task. This condominium complex, located in the ultra high-end Apogee, boasts a mere 67 suites and can cater to the pickiest buyers out there. Suite 503 may seem like a lot at $3.69 million, but even its initial price of $3.85 million was a whopping $1.8 million less than the unit directly above it. But if you can afford this place, you get more than what you pay for. A balcony looking out across the clear blue sea, a full summer outdoor kitchen, remote-controlled window treatments and a private two-car garage are just a taste of the amenities, which are notably highlighted by a full biometrics security system. The 3,000-square-foot suite resides within a building that boasts full amenities, including private gyms with breathtaking water views and exclusive pools just feet from the shore.

1123 North Lake Way, Palm Beach, Fla.: You will feel like someone special, or so the real estate agent says, at this renovated one-story home in Palm Beach. There is even a Gatsby-inspired pool, cabana/guest suite and a large entryway. Outside, you will find a palm-tree-lined walkway and stately privet hedges. The master bedroom includes a fireplace for those rare chilly Florida nights. But the best part about this true gem is its price. Originally on the market for $3.59 million, some might now call it a steal at just $3.35 million.

315 Tangier Ave., Palm Beach, Fla.: This restored five-bedroom estate has won architectural awards and could simply wow you. It combines refined interior details, gracious outdoor spaces and stunning gardens. The price also sparkles in the Florida sunshine: $5.95 million, down from the original listing of $6.5 million. But save a little bit of cash. Taxes on this estate will cost you a hefty $47,000 a year.

90 Sullivan St., New York: On this 1,300-square-foot bamboo-lined terrace you will quickly forget that you are in the middle of Manhattan. Once inside this Soho penthouse the high ceilings allow expansive cityscape views spanning Tribeca and SoHo to the Empire State and Chrysler buildings. But the real highlight of this apartment is the stunning deck with built-in planters and an outdoor kitchen with a grill and refrigerator.

351 East 51st St., New York: Originally, two adjacent apartments, this 4,000-square-foot apartment now offers plenty of space with two large master bedroom suites, two to three additional bedrooms, four full baths and two half baths, two kitchens, allowing the smaller one to be used as a wet bar or large laundry room. It was originally listed for $7.65 million and is now on the market for $5.995 million.

408 East 79th St., New York: Once priced at more than $2.2 million, this three-bedroom Upper East Side condo is now on the market for $1,895,000. It includes an oversized kitchen and a master bath featuring double sinks and a wall-mounted flat-screen TV. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer city views while building amenities include a screening room and a library. The apartment is in a new building -- 2005 construction -- and features two large walk-in closets.

16 Jay St., New York: This triplex penthouse in trendy Tribeca might seem expensive at $5.995 million but consider this: Back in April of 2008 the asking price was $8.25 million. Guests enter into the living and dining room with exposed wood-beamed ceilings, original timber columns, a wood- burning fireplace and open views of the surrounding historic district from a wall of oversized windows. There are six-bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms and, upstairs, two private landscaped terraces. And if that isn't enough, outside is a charming cobblestoned street. The sale price might be a relative bargain, but remember taxes and common charges will cost you another $4,000 a month.

2 Fifth Ave., New York: This four-bedroom, four-bathroomloft at the southern end of Fifth Avenue was once three separate apartments but is now one massive complex featuring two distinct living areas, a children's wing with den and private guest suite with en-suite waterworks bath. It was first listed back in February for $4.95 million but has now dropped to $4.495 million. If the purchase price is too steep, the owners are looking to rent it out … for $20,000 a month.

50 Central Ave, Sarasota: This over 4,000-square-foot-plus downtown Sarasota penthouse boasts magnificent Gulf views for under $2.3 million, significantly down from an original asking price of $4.5 million. This marble-covered, open-style suite lends itself to entertaining company accustomed to luxury. Floor-to-ceiling windows, private balconies and exquisite design are just a few perks to the custom décor this luxury residence boasts. Along with this high-style apartment comes high-end services, such as a private concierge service, valet service and a residents-only lobby, which provide even the pickiest owners with the privacy they need.

152 Wooster St., New York: This large home is seen as a bargain not so much for its $3.39 million asking price but because it is $1,019.55 per square foot. Yes folks, in Manhattan that is apparently a deal. In trendy Soho, this 3,325-square-foot corner loft has 16 large windows, cast-iron columns, 11-foot ceilings and four bathrooms. It was built in 1909 and is being marketed for the flexibility of the floor plan.

20 West 12th St., New York: This Greenwich Village townhouse has just seen its price slashed $5 million, to $19.5 million. Talk about a giant price cut. This house has so much space, you might not know what to do with it all. There are 10 fireplaces, nine bedrooms and nine bathrooms in its present configuration. It sits on a quiet block of other historic townhouses that feels like something more out of the mid-1800s than modern-day New York.

710 Broadway, New York: There is nothing like throwing a party in style around your very own wood-burning fireplace, and what better place to host the party than in your very own Soho loft. Sure, this apartment with exposed brick walls and barrel-vaulted ceiling -- nearly 12 feet high -- will set you back $1.795 million, but that's a better deal than the $2.295 million the owners were asking just a few months back.

500 Palm So. Ph., Sarasota: Beachfront property is hard to come by in downtown Sarasota, so this under $5 million (from an initial asking price of $6.2 million) luxury penthouse that features breathtaking night views on the Gulf is a real deal. The two-story penthouse, with four bedrooms and four-and-a-half baths, also features a separate guest suite with entry from the private elevator lobby and extensive wrap-around balconiesr.

225 Central Park West, New York: You know you have made it in life when your kitchen doesn't just have a dishwasher, but two dishwashers. This three-bedroom apartment on Central Park West has a solarium flanked by two terraces. The entertaining space is wide and loftlike with hardwood floors, built-in surround sound speakers and a renovated, open gourmet kitchen with marble floors and countertops -- and of course the two dishwashers. The master suite has two walk-in closets and a master bath that the listing agent says will evoke the Tuscan countryside. The other two bedrooms -- one currently used as a library -- are in another wing, adding additional privacy and flexibility to the space. The apartment was first listed at $3.699 million, then taken off the market for 10 months, then relisted at $2.995 million and is now being offered for $2.85 million.

35 Watergate Drive, Sarasota : The name Ritz Carlton tends to inspire awe, but that doesn't mean it's not a deal. Down to $3.95 million from an asking price of $4.15 mil. This tower residence features some of the best views in the region, spanning as far as the barrier islands. Each room is decorated with precision and detail, including hand-painted stenciling and Venetian plaster. This palace in the sky is highlighted by marble floors and counters. And it doesn't stop at stunning details and insane views: the 11-foot ceilings boast an incorporated surround sound system, and the 3,751-square-foot space comes fully equipped with state-of-the-art appliances.

43 King St., New York: This 1830s four-story townhouse includes four bedrooms, three-and-a-half bathrooms, three exposures, a large chef's kitchen and, for the nature lover, a wooden deck overlooking a lovely 50-foot garden. It has cherry wood floors and four wood-burning fireplaces. The original asking price was $6.25 million. The townhouse is now on the market for $4.95 million.

330 S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach, Fla.: This ocean-view apartment was renovated in 2006, right before the market fell apart. It was fist listed for $4.15 million and has since been reduced to $3.25 million. It has three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a powder room, marble floors and high ceilings along with a brand new kitchen with stainless steel appliances, a wine refrigerator, marble countertops and a breakfast area with ocean views. There are also balconies on both the east and the south sides.