Manhattan Multifamily Sees Price Increases

By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor

New York—According to Brown Harris Stevens’ first quarter 2012 Manhattan Residential Market Report, the average Manhattan apartment sale price was about $1.483 million, up 9 percent from the same period in 2011. There were 1,800 first-quarter closings all together for coops and condos during 1Q12, 2 percent more than a year ago. A leading factor in the higher average price, according to the company, was a steep increase—42 percent—in the number of sales over $10 million when compared to the same period last year.

The average price for cooperatives sold during the first quarter of 2012 was up 10 percent from a year ago, at $1.181 million. The average Manhattan condo price was $1.889 million, which is the highest average in three years, and up 8 percent from a year ago, with all size categories seeing price increases. New developments accounted for 41 percent of all condo closings, up from 35 percent in the first quarter of 2011.

In the Downtown market, the average condo price per square foot rose 4 percent over the past year to $1,241, according to the report. Smaller apartments showed the biggest gains in average sales price, with studios rising 12 percent over 1Q11 and one bedrooms up 11 percent.

The report also said that on the East Side, larger apartments did better than smaller ones, with two bedrooms seeing an increase in average prices of 3 percent compared with the same period last year, while three bedroom and larger apartments saw a 9 percent increase. On the West Side, three bedroom and larger apartments saw a 52 percent increase over the first quarter of 2011 due in large part to the $88 million sale at 15 Central Park West. Leaving that transaction aside, the average price for three-bedroom and larger apartments would be $4.384 million, or 22 percent higher than a year ago.

The sale at 15 Central Park West, in which Brown Harris Stevens represented both the buyer and the seller, had a significant impact on this quarter’s report, noted Hall. F. Willkie, president of Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales. But he added that it’s important to note that there were 16 other transactions over $10 million that closed this quarter. “New York City’s recovery continues to best most predictions,” he says.

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