Price of Average Manhattan Unit Down 16% but Sales Activity is Slightly Up

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorNew York–Manhattan has continued to see the effects of the recession, according to the second quarter Manhattan residential market report recently released by Brown Harris Stevens. The average apartment (includes condos and co-ops) price of $1,263,471 was down 16 percent from the first quarter of 2009, and down 24 percent…

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorNew York–Manhattan has continued to see the effects of the recession, according to the second quarter Manhattan residential market report recently released by Brown Harris Stevens. The average apartment (includes condos and co-ops) price of $1,263,471 was down 16 percent from the first quarter of 2009, and down 24 percent from the same period a year ago.  Click here to view PDF of chart.The second quarter of 2008 saw many closings at The Plaza and 15 Central Park West; if these closings are discounted, the decline in the average price would be 15 percent from the same time last year. The total number of closings decreased by 53 percent compared to the same period a year ago. “While the market is not what it used to be, brokers are reporting an increase in interest from buyers,” Greg Heym, chief economist at Terra Holdings, the parent company of both Brown Harris Stevens & Halstead Property, tells MHN. “If someone is in the market for the long-term and is looking to live in the unit, this is a good time to buy because prices are low and so are interest rates.”The average price for cooperative apartments during the second quarter of 2009 was $918,795, down 29 percent from a year ago. An 82 percent decline in closings over $10 million helped bring the average co-op price down. At $1,619,716, the average condominium price overall was down 18 percent from a year ago. This number is greatly impacted by closings at The Plaza and 15 Central Park West. If these two buildings are removed from the equation, the average condo price fell to just 2 percent lower than a year ago. “The Plaza and Central Park West are not your typical buildings; they are very expensive so they inflate the numbers. A year ago they made the numbers look better and this year they are making them look worse,” says Heym.New developments sold for an average of $1,198 per square foot during the second quarter, down 16 percent from a year ago. If 15 CPW and The Plaza are excluded from the equation the decline is just 5 percent. Apartments sold in the second quarter of 2009 were on the market for an average of 129 days, 48 percent longer than at the same time last year. Sellers received 92.6 percent of the last asking price for their apartments, down from 97.5 percent from a year ago. New developments, which accounted for 64 percent of condo sales Downtown, helped keep the decline in the average condo price per square foot to just 2 percent over the past year. “In the third quarter, we could see an uptick in sales activity and this will slowly help with the prices. It’s tough to say when because it depends on when the national economy stabilizes,” concludes Heym.

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