Manhattan Apartment Prices Stable in Fourth Quarter

Apartment sale prices in Manhattan barely moved during the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the latest report by Brown Harris Stevens, a specialist in New York residential properties.

New York—Apartment sale prices in Manhattan barely moved during the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the latest report by Brown Harris Stevens, a specialist in New York residential properties (and in places where New Yorkers are likely to buy other properties, such as the Hamptons, North Fork and Palm Beach). The average sale price for a Manhattan apartment was about $1.391 million at the end of 2011, down slightly the third quarter and down 3 percent from the same quarter in 2010.

According to Brown Harris Stevens, a leading factor in the lower average price was a decline in condo sales, which accounted for 40 percent of all residential sales in Manhattan during 4Q11, compared to 46 percent in 4Q10. Condos typically sell for more than co-ops and when they comprise a smaller share of sales, the overall average apartment price drops.

The average price for Manhattan cooperatives sold during the fourth quarter of 2011 was on par with a year ago, at about $1.149 million. The average Manhattan condominium price was $1.825 million, up 4 percent from a year ago, with most size categories seeing an increase in price. There were 1,645 fourth quarter closings reported at the time of the report, 13 percent less than a year ago.

Larger residences proved more popular last year among buyers, driving prices for those kinds of properties up, especially among co-ops. The average price for three-bedroom and larger co-ops rose 18 percent over the past year, while all other size categories of co-ops saw their average price decline during this time.

Helped by three closings for more than $20 million, the average price for three-bedroom and larger apartments on the East Side rose 42 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared with the same quarter a year earlier. Brown Harris Stevens also reported that sales at the Laureate—the company is part of the sales team for that very high-end property—once again pushed average sales prices higher on the West Side. The average price per square foot for condos in that market jumped 20 percent over the past year to $1,571.