Jan 4, 2012

Manhattan Market Report Fourth Quarter 2011

After strong demand over the past two quarters, market wide transaction activity pulled back during Fourth Quarter 2011 to approximately 2,600 sales, the lowest level of activity since Second Quarter 2009.

The number of quarterly sales was 12% lower than Fourth Quarter 2010 and 20% lower than Third Quarter 2011. The compression in sales this quarter can be attributed to seasonal activity trending downward at the end of each year and low new development inventory.
The condo and co-op market statistics were divergent this quarter, and fundamentals should be viewed separately. Condo inventory decreased 11% from a year ago due to limited new development openings but in contrast, co-op availability remained even. The net effect to market-wide listed inventory, at 8,440 listings, fell 6% from last quarter and 4% from Fourth Quarter 2010.

 Limited availability in the condo market has led to a surge in pricing. Condo median price and average price per square foot in Fourth Quarter 2011 were at their highest levels since the downturn. Condo median price is at its highest level since Fourth Quarter 2008 and average price per square foot is at its highest level since First Quarter 2009.

Co-op median price declined this quarter while average price per square foot held relatively firm from one year ago and declined only marginally from Third Quarter 2011. In the new development sector, supply cannot keep pace with demand and several markets are already under- supplied; when properties enter the market they are highly anticipated and get absorbed rapidly, usually with price increases.

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