New York City Real Estate

Manhattan's condo prices reach records in Q4 of 2015

The median price of a Manhattan apartment has jumped 17.3 percent from the previous year, to $1.15 million, according to a recent Douglas Elliman report. The average price now stands at $1,948,221, a 12 percent rise compared with last year. The average price per square foot is at $1,645 which is a 28.1 percent increase compared with the same period last year.

It does pay off to look a bit more closely at the data. The median price of a brand new construction property was up 15.4 percent to $2,059,411. On the other hand, the median price for resales saw a much more modest jump of 8.1 percent to $960,000. In other words, most of the price increase came from an unusual number of luxury condo sales that closed in the past three months.

Despite those nuances, though, New York buyers of any apartment are in a difficult situation. Banks have been tight with their lending standards during this boom. The tighter rules now make these numbers even more remarkable. In fact, this quarter, “50 percent of the deals were cash,” says Elliman president Dottie Herman, adding that an apartment in Manhattan seems like a better investment than the stock market or a mutual fund.

Inventory did actually finally grow this past quarter but only a small growth.

So is there any bright spot for buyers of New York apartments? Maybe a small one. Corcoran’s report shows the number of contracts signed — which will likely translate to closed sales these first three months — to have fallen by 12 percent. So maybe January will be a little cooler.

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Source: New York Magazine, January 2016

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