Gregory J. Heym
Executive Vice President, Chief Economist
Real estate companies release quarterly reports
A series of real estate reports released today remind that Manhattan is an island in more ways than one, with a surge in co-op and condo sales and a rise in prices despite the national slowdown in housing.
Brokerage company Halstead Property LLC reported that the average price per square foot of Manhattan cooperatives and condos jumped 25.8 percent in the third quarter and the median sale price rose 12.4 percent compared to the same quarter last year.
A separate third-quarter report prepared for Prudential Douglas Elliman by appraisal firm Miller Samuel Inc., found that the average price per square foot of Manhattan co-ops and condos jumped 9 percent in the third quarter compared to the same quarter last year, with the average sale price up 6.3 percent and the median sale price up 2.3 percent.
And The Corcoran Group reported a 14 percent rise in the average price of condos and co-ops and a 5 percent rise in both the median price and the price per square foot in the third quarter compared to the same quarter last year.
Market news has been less rosy for the nation as a whole -- the National Association of Realtors trade group reported last week that sales of previously owned homes hit a five-year low in August while the median price was up 0.2 percent. And the U.S. Census Bureau reported that new-home sales in August fell to the lowest level for that month since August 1995, with the median new-home price falling 7.5 percent compared to August 2006.
The brokerage companies' sales reports do not synch with a monthly Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller price index, which revealed a 3.8 percent drop in July compared to July 2006 for the New York City metro area. That New York price index has fallen for nine consecutive months, from October 2006 to July 2007.
After a doubling in the inventory of for-sale Manhattan condos and co-ops from second-quarter 2004 to fourth-quarter 2006, the sales pace picked up and eroded this inventory, said Jonathan Miller, executive vice president and director of research for Radar Logic Inc., a company that has acquired Miller Samuel.
The listing inventory of co-ops and condos fell 31.7 percent in the third quarter compared to the same quarter last year, dropping from 7,623 in third-quarter 2006 to 5,204 in third-quarter 2007, according to the according to the Prudential Douglas Elliman Manhattan Market Overview third-quarter report.
This inventory drop reflects a quickening sales pace in the third quarter, Miller said -- Manhattan co-op and condo sales are up an estimated 65.6 percent compared to third-quarter 2006, though sales may be slightly skewed by an increase in the volume of publicly available sales data, as additional sales data became available during the third quarter in 2006, he said.
Condos and co-ops with four or more bedrooms experienced a 16.4 percent gain in average sale price, while the average sale price of units with three or more bedrooms rose 17.9 percent, two-bedroom units rose 4.7 percent, one-bedroom units rose 6 percent and the average sale price of studios fell 5.1 percent in the third quarter compared to the same quarter last year.
A drop in the sale price of studio units may be a "one-shot anomaly," Miller said, as the demand for studio condo and co-op units remained steady -- studios accounted for about 14 percent of all condo and co-op unit sales in both third-quarter 2006 and third-quarter 2007.
The average price per square foot of Manhattan condos and co-ops increased from $1,050 in third-quarter 2006 to $1,144 in third-quarter 2007, and the price per square foot was up 15.2 percent in the Uptown area, 13.4 percent in the East Side area, 12.8 percent in the Downtown area and 6.6 percent in the West Side area.
The price per square foot ranges from $1,120 in the Downtown area to $1,271 in the East Side area, with the Uptown area as the exception at $645 per square foot. The tight range for three of four Manhattan areas is a relatively new phenomenon, Miller said. "There is generally price parody -- almost a homogenization of price levels, which was not apparent 10-15 years ago." This consistency in pricing is one of the byproducts of the housing boom, he said, as housing units have been built up in several areas of Manhattan. That same trend has spread to the outer boroughs of New York City, Miller added.
The average sale price rose 2.7 percent, the average price per square foot rose 0.4 percent, and the median sale price fell 3.4 percent for condos and co-ops in the third-quarter compared to second-quarter 2007. "I was somewhat surprised to see the average price and the price per square foot increase over the last quarter, Miller said.
The average studio condos and co-op price dropped to $443,059 in third-quarter 2007, with the average one-bedroom price rising to $747,014, the average two-bedroom price rising to $1.66 million, the average three-bedroom price rising to $4.42 million and the average four-bedroom price rising to $8.53 million.
A Manhattan Townhouse Report released by Miller Samuel showed that the average sale price of Manhattan townhouses rose to $4.08 million in the third quarter, which is 5.4 percent higher than in third-quarter 2006. The average price per square foot of Manhattan townhouses climbed 4.4 percent to $856; the median sale price fell 14.3 percent to $2.7 million; the number of sales rose 10.9 percent to 275; and the listing inventory dropped 25.4 percent to 302 compared to third-quarter 2006.
According to Halstead's report, the time on market for Manhattan apartments -- including condos and co-ops -- dropped from 92 days in third-quarter 2006 to 86 days in third-quarter 2006, and the selling price rose from 97.3 percent of the asking price in third-quarter 2006 to 97.8 percent of the asking price in third-quarter 2007.
Halstead also reported an average sale price of $1.32 million for Manhattan apartments in third-quarter 2007 and an $815,000 median price.
The average sale price of four-bedroom Manhattan co-ops fell from $6.41 million in third-quarter 2006 to $5.93 million in third-quarter 2006, a 7.5 percent decline, while prices rose for every other category of condo and co-op from third-quarter 2006 to third-quarter 2007, and the average condo sale price climbed 38 percent year-over-year in the third quarter to a record $1.61 million, Halstead reported.
The average price per square foot for Manhattan lofts increased from $1,048 in third-quarter 2006 to $1,128 in third-quarter 2007, a gain of 7.6 percent, according to the Halstead report.
And The Corcoran Group reported a 20 percent rise in Manhattan condo and co-op sales in the third quarter compared to third-quarter 2006, with 3,588 real estate deals reported in August 2007.
The average price for a Manhattan apartment was $1.41 million in the third-quarter, Corcoran also reported, while the median sale price was $895,000 and the price per square foot was $1,104.
In Brooklyn, The Corcoran Group reported 484 sales in the third quarter compared with 377 in third-quarter 2006, a 28 percent rise. Also, Corcoran reported that the average sale price of an apartment in Brooklyn rose 11 percent, to $679,000, and the median sale price rose 9 percent, to $608,000, in the third quarter compared to third-quarter 2007.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007