Manhattan Condos, Co-ops Sign Fewer Takers 1st Quarter 2008

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorNew York–It is likely that the record number of sales of Manhattan condos and co-ops in 2007 will not be repeated in 2008, according to the “First Quarter 2008 Manhattan Market Overview,” recently released by Prudential Douglas Elliman, a New York-based residential brokerage firm.Sales in the current quarter declined to levels seen two years ago. Several factors are contributing to the lack in demand, including the reduction of available credit, less favorable mortgage terms, the national economy moving towards a recession and the additional layoffs in the financial services sector expected over the next two years.The number of sales dropped 34.3 percent this quarter to 2,282 units, compared to 3,474 units sold in the prior year quarter.“This is a price-sensitive market and buyers are becoming more conservative,” says Dottie Herman, president and CEO of Prudential Douglas Elliman. “There still are many buyers ready to purchase property, but no one is demonstrating a sense of urgency.”“We appear to have entered a transition period, as reflected in the sharp decline of sales this quarter and modest uptick in inventory,” says Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of Miller Samuel, the company that prepared the report. “The sharp change in prices is reflective of greater activity for higher-priced apartments.”The median sales price for all units increased 13.2 percent to a record $945,276 over the prior year quarter result of $835,000. More specifically, the median sales price of a co-op this quarter was a record $750,000, up 11.1 percent from last year at this time while the median sales price of a condo this quarter was a record $1,160,000, up 17.1 percent from last year at this time. In the luxury apartments sector, (upper 10 percent of all co-op and condo sales) this quarter recorded a median sales price of $4,989,425, up 45.7 percent from last year at this time.