Manhattan Apartments Selling at Record Pace and Price, Features Frederick Peters

Posted by Joe Anuta — October 2, 2015

Originally posted in Crain's New York Business

1443815128NEW YORK CITY, NY - Over the past three months, Manhattan homes flew off the shelves at a record pace and price.

On average, listings were snatched up in 73 days, according to a third-quarter market report released Thursday by appraisal firm Miller Samuel for Douglas Elliman Real Estate. The report found that the amount of time it took to sell all of the inventory at the current pace, called the absorption rate, was roughly half of the amount of time compared with the past decade’s average.

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"Basically, the market is clearing twice as fast as it normally would,” said Jonathan Miller, head of Miller Samuel. That quick turnaround time is largely due to tight inventory and robust demand.

The increased appetite for apartments is also behind the increase in average price per square foot to $1,497 for the quarter, another record.

Mr. Miller’s report was released along with a slew of others that, while arriving at slightly different numbers, all recorded the median Manhattan sale price at about $1 million, up approximately 10% from  last year. In fact, one report by residential brokerage Compass said that the median price had, for the first time ever, exceeded $1 million.

However, Compass also reported that sales volume fell to 3,929 transactions, about 10% fewer than last year. That dip can be attributed to the lack of apartments on the market.

“We expect prices to continue to increase and inventory to remain in short supply,” the report noted.

The high-end of the market was relatively flat, with the median price of luxury homes, which the Miller Samuel report defined as apartments topping $3.6 million, increasing by 10% over last year. Sales volume for these pricey pads increased by roughly the same amount. On the other hand, these apartments sat on the market for roughly double the amount of time compared with the overall Manhattan market.

Meanwhile the median price of new developments shot up 25% over last year to about $2 million, and according to Frederick Peters, head of Warburg Realty, more newly constructed units are  on the way. "There is always a fall market, but this one has been unusually well populated," he said.

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