Although sales experienced a seasonal slowing in the Fourth Quarter, the value of Manhattan real estate continues to be stable. Overall, the average price per square foot in Manhattan was off only 1% from last quarter and the year before, at $1,044.
In the case of condominiums, limited inventory resulted in the highest pricing levels since late 2008. Cooperatives held steady, with mild decreases or unchanged metrics.
Thankfully, as I have been blogging about for years, the Manhattan sales market is stronger than most of the rest of the country with foreign buyers, a diversified employment base and the stabilizing influence of equity-requiring co-op boards.
The high end of the Manhattan Market ($5 million and above) may be stronger than ever. Luxury condos are selling for more than their sales price in ’08 and ’09 (Sandy Weill’s recent sale of his penthouse at 15 CPW for $88 million more than doubled his purchase price paid at the peak of the market in early 2007).
The ultra wealthy around the world continue to prosper and more and more of them want to have a home in Manhattan. The middle of the range condo market ($2mil to $5mil) has enjoyed similar high demand, with prices toping the peaks of ’07 driven predominantly by the foreign condo buyers whose country of origin shifts each year based on local currency strength and wealth creation.
The remainder of the market which includes most smaller co-ops and condos also enjoyed a steady improvement over the past 12 months but in a much more modified manner due to financing and confidence hurdles.
The combination of shrinking inventory and stabile prices are hopeful signs for the value of real property as we enter the New Year. I will be tracking them all closely as 2012 unfolds, and would welcome the opportunity to answer any questions you may have about the report or the market generally.
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