Gregory J. Heym
Executive Vice President, Chief Economist
BY LORE CROGHAN
MANHATTAN APARTMENT PRICES notched up in November, but the galloping gains seen earlier this year are gone.
The average apartment sale clocked in at $1.10 million, compared with $1.09 million in October, according to real estate brokerage Halstead.
Prices have been fluctuating from month to month since July – and New Yorkers have been watching closely, fearing the end is near for the city’s real estate boom.
As the latest numbers indicate, the pace is changing. But the bottom’s not about to drop out of the Manhattan market, said Halstead’s chief economist, Greg Heym.
“The signposts are pointing toward slower growth – but growth,” Heym explained. “We had such hot growth in the first half of the year. It’s unhealthy for a market to keep growing 25% a year.”
The average year-over-year price increase was modest as well – just 2% – because 63% of the deals were for studios and one-bedrooms, versus 57% in November 2004.
The shift occurred due to a surge in sales of smaller apartments because of job growth, rather than softness in higher-end sales, Heym said.
Well-heeled New Yorkers are out there purchasing expensive apartments – but many units are in developments that are currently under construction, so the transactions haven’t closed or been factored into price statistics.
Nationwide, real estate watchers got another indication yesterday that the residential market is cooling.
Toll Brothers – America’s biggest luxury homebuilder – said its 2006 profit growth could be the slowest in four years.
It was the second warning the builder had issued in the past month – and investors had already taken the bad news into account. The company’s stock rose $1.25, or 3.6%, yesterday to $35.55.
Friday, December 09, 2005