Manhattan Coop and Condo Sales Report-Q3 2009


3Q 09 Manhattan Residential Market Overview

Miller Samuel, an independent appraisal firm,  and Prudential Douglas Elliman real estate today released the Manhattan Market Overview.

The report tracks the 2230 sales of coop and condo apartments that closed in the third quarter of 2009 and compares the data to second quarter sales of this year as well as the same quarter sales of 2008 thus adjusting for seasonality.

  • There was a 45.6% jump in the number of sales this quarter to 2,230 sales from 1,532 sales in the prior quarter, which is well above seasonal trends. There were 16% fewer sales in the third quarter than the same period a year ago.
  • The average price per square foot of a Manhattan apartment was $996, down 16.5% from the prior year quarter price per square foot of $1,193 and 5.7% below the price per square foot of $1,056 in the prior quarter.
  • Listing inventory fell 4.6% to 8,389 units from 8,794 units in the prior year quarter and 10.5% from 9,378 in the prior quarter.
  • The average time it took to sell a property was 167 days, more than a month longer than the 134 days on market in the prior year quarter, but up a modest 5 days from the 162 days on market of the prior quarter.
  • Listing discount, which measures the spread between the listing price and the sales price at time of contract was 7.6% up from 2.6% in the prior year quarter, but down nominally from 7.8% in the prior quarter.

As the report indicates, “The number of sales tend to peak in the second quarter of each year. This is reflective of the spring selling season including demand generated from the early year Wall Street bonus season. However, the peak level of activity year to date occurred during the third quarter suggesting the seasonal housing cycle was pushed forward by three months. The unusually low level of sales activity in the first quarter of 2009 appeared to set the stage for a release of pentup demand later in the year”.

Turning the Corner Vs. Finding the bottom

“The summer surge in the number of sales was caused by a myriad of factors including mortgage rates at historic lows, the $8,000 first time buyer tax credit, increased affordability after the sharp correction in price levels, and continued evidence that the financial system was continuing to stabilize. In addition, a 24% jump in the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the past 6 months resulted in an improvement in consumer confidence. Still, unemployment remains elevated, employment in the financial services sector continues to decline and unusually restrictive mortgage underwriting remains in place. Therefore, this surge in the number of sales does not appear to indicate a housing market “bottom”, but rather provides some evidence that the housing market has “turned the corner.”

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