Manhattan Residential Sales End ’14 on Strong Note

Last year was a strong one for the sale of Manhattan residential properties, with steady increases in prices per square foot and higher sales volumes, Urban Compass notes in its latest Manhattan Market Compass report.

New York—Last year was a strong one for the sale of Manhattan residential properties, with steady increases in prices per square foot and higher sales volumes, Urban Compass notes in its latest Manhattan Market Compass report. But the company also predicts that in some parts of the borough, prices will decline somewhat in the first quarter of 2015.

The fourth quarter of 2014 was particularly strong, according to Urban Compass. During the quarter, Manhattan experienced its single largest Q4 total dollar volume in closed sales ever: about $5.4 billion. It was also the second consecutive fourth quarter that exceeded pre-recession dollar volume levels, topping Q4 2007 by 12.4 percent or $596 million.

Manhattan’s ultra-luxury market flourished in 2014, especially in the fourth quarter, Urban Compass also says. Year-over-year, closings of condos priced at $10 million and above increased by more than 191 percent, and between Q3 and Q4 2014, the sale of condos priced at $10 million and above nearly doubled.

As a result of the large number of three-bedroom and four-bedroom residences on the market, median asking price in Manhattan increased by 33.5 percent between Q3 2013 and Q4 2014. In terms of inventory, Urban Compass reported 24 percent and 22 percent year-over-year increases in the three-bedroom and four-bedroom categories, respectively.

In Q4 2014, Downtown held the highest number of contract signings with 944 — a 31.5 percent market share. Throughout the borough, the most popular property type to enter into contract in the quarter was Downtown condos in the $1 million to $3 million range. Year-over-year, the major markets with the most growth were Midtown West (seeing a 18.6 percent increase in contracts signed), Upper Manhattan (a 16.3 percent increase) and Downtown (a 6.2 percent increase).

Though it’s seen vigorous growth, Manhattan doesn’t have the makings of a bubble, however. Urban Compass predicts that the overall change in median closing price in Q1 2015 will be mixed, depending on neighborhood, ranging between a 1.2 percent gain and a 3.7 percent drop compared with Q4 2014.