Manhattan Condo, Co-op Prices Edge Upward in 4Q

New York--For the sixth quarter in a row, average for-sale residential prices in Manhattan are up, although the increases were relatively small.

Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor

New York–For the sixth quarter in a row, average for-sale residential prices in Manhattan are up, according to the fourth quarter 2010 market report by Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales. Quarter-over-quarter, the increases were relatively small: Condo sales prices averaged $1.751 million in 4Q10, up from $1.724 million during the previous quarter. Co-op prices averaged $1.158 million in the fourth quarter of 2010 and $1.156 million during the third.

Year-over-year, however, price increases have been more pronounced, especially for Manhattan co-ops. During 4Q09, the average sale price for a co-op was about $990,000. Since then, the price has jumped 17 percent. The comparable year-over-year increase for Manhattan condos has been only about 1 percent.

“Larger co-ops have seen the strongest price gains in the last year,” Gregory Heym, chief economist for Terra Holdings, the parent company of Brown Harris Stevens, tells MHN. “Demand has increased with the improvement in the local economy, while supply has become tight.”

Part of the reason for the tight supply is that inventory has declined as the number of building permits filed in 2010 went down substantially from the previous year. According to Brown Harris Stevens, low inventory ought to continue to be a factor in moving Manhattan residential prices upward.

The report adds that the number of residential transactions in Manhattan during 4Q10 was 1,901, a 25 percent decrease from the same quarter in 2009. The last quarter of 2009 was unusually busy, notes the report, because of pent-up demand growing in the year since the financial crisis began in 2008.

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