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Mentioned in this Article:
Diane M. Ramirez

Diane M. Ramirez
Chief Operating Officer

The New York Daily News

Manhattan Apartment Prices Break New Record As Low Inventory Heavy Demand Heat Up Market

What housing crisis?

It's a distant memory now as Manhattan apartment prices surge through the roof again.

The average apartment sale price in Manhattan hit a record high of $1,715,741 in the first quarter, a 30% jump from the same period last year, according to a report from Halstead Property.

That kind of robust increase hasn't been seen since before the recession hit.

"All of a sudden we're seeing prices jump," Jonathan Miller, CEO of appraisal company Miller Samuel, who compiles reports for brokerage firm Douglas Elliman, told the Daily News.

"That hasn't happened in years."

A dearth of inventory helped heat up the market as competing buyers bid up prices.

"We've had record low inventory for months," Hall Willkie, president of Brown Harris Stevens, told the News.

Multiple bids, all-cash deals, packed open houses and bidding wars were the norm in the first quarter, said Corcoran Group president Pamela Leibman.

A large number of super expensive closings in new condo developments also helped push up the average price.

All of a sudden we're seeing prices jump. That hasn't happened in years.

Closings in the quarter included a $50.9 million penthouse at Walker Tower and a $43 million penthouse at One Madison.

The average sale price for new development properties skyrocketed 69% in the quarter to $3.285 million, according to a report from Corcoran.

Overall, the number of sales in the quarter rose 25% from the same time last year, when there was a temporary lull in the market.

Prices are expected to continue to rise through the course of the year, though not at the same levels seen in the first quarter, Miller said.

While prices have surged, Douglas Elliman CEO Dottie Herman said the Manhattan market is far more stable than it was before the housing crisis hit.

"It's totally healthier than the boom," Herman said. "These deals are not highly leveraged. Banks are tight with credit. There are a lot more cash deals."

With inventory low and prices jumping, it isn't easy to be a buyer these days.

What should buyers do?

"Do your homework," said Halstead CEO Diane Ramirez. "This isn't the time to play cat-and-mouse. If you like it and it's priced well, go in with confidence.


Tuesday, April 01, 2014