This week the major Manhattan brokerages released 4Q 2009 sales reports. The reports confirmed the activity I've experienced during the last quarter. Sales activity picked up at the end of the year. I had a very busy December traditionally a slow period during the holidays.
Buyers are buying. Many people feel we may have bottomed. Inventory is down. I'm currently working with a buyer ready to buy a two bedroom condo or condop on the Upper West Side in the $1.2M range. There is very little to show. Any seller thinking about selling please contact me ASAP.
While sales activity increased during the last quarter, the market reports indicate sale prices are down 10-15% from the 4th quarter of 2008.
The extended tax credit and increase in income cap has helped more Manhattan buyers with higher incomes. First time home buyers with adjusted gross incomes up to $125,000 (single) or $225,000 (married) can get the full $8000 tax credit if they close on the purchase of a primary residence before June 30, 2010 and haven't owned a home in the past three years.
Current homeowners can receive a credit of up to $6500 if they've lived in their primary residence for five consecutive years out of the past eight, meet the same income thresholds as first-time buyers, and purchase and close on a primary residence before June 30, 2010. The maximum property value is $800,000. The credit does not apply to second homes, vacation property or investment properties.
Purchasers need to plan on being in the home for at least three years. If you sell the home or move to a different primary residence within three years you will be required to repay the credit.
The rising stock market, along with low mortgage rates has also helped increase buyer confidence in the market. The average Manhattan apartment sold for $1.3 million down about 13% from a year ago. Smaller apartments with easier mortgage terms, studios and 1 bedrooms accounted for 58% of all sales in the last quarter.
Wall Street bonuses are also expected to be very good which usually benefits the Manhattan real estate market. While there is no way to predict the overall economy, our local economy and the Manhattan real estate market seems to be starting out with an optimistic outlook.
©Mitchell Hall 2010
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