NYC Defies National Home Price Declines, Sets Real Estate Records in 2007

New York–The U.S. housing slump raged on during the fourth quarter of 2007–but not in Manhattan, where reports from four major real estate brokerage firms released Thursday showed property sold for record prices.The average New York apartment price rose 17.6 percent from the fourth quarter of 2006 to 2007, hitting $1.4 million at the end of the year, according to brokerage firm Prudential Douglas Elliman.The number of apartment sales increased by 3.2 percent, compared with the same time period in 2006, The New York Times reported Thursday. Apartments also sold faster than a year ago by an average of 18 days.Apartment supply was also down 13.5 percent. The Prudential Douglas Elliman report said the average condo price increased by 17.8 percent in the last quarter of 2007 compared to 2006. Average co-op prices were up by 9.1 percent.However, the reports noted that high-end apartments selling for $10 million or more were helping push prices to new highs. Last year, three times more apartments sold for $10 million or higher than in 2006, according to data from the Brown Harris Stevens and Halstead Property brokerages.Yet luxury properties weren’t the only ones selling. Half of Manhattan’s sales were for apartments less than $828,0000, according to Halstead Property and Brown Harris Stevens.Despite Manhattan’s banner year, real estate brokers have forecast a potential drop in sales prices because Wall Street banker bonuses are expected to be less in 2008 and large mortgages have become increasingly harder to obtain, the Times said.