The number of closed sales was the second highest figure seen in over five years. Because only Third Quarter 2013 was higher, Third Quarter 2014 registered a 10% year-over-year drop in sales. The number of sales is highly affected by two trends: limited inventory at low price points and the strength of the new development pre-sale market. Only 6% of closed sales this quarter were new development sponsor sales, a remarkably low market share, as most new developments today are still under construction.
Inventory is rising. Third Quarter 2014 was the third consecutive quarter to see a gain in active listings, the firstsustained, non-seasonal upward trend in inventory since 2008. With 10% more listings available now versus the same time last year, buyers are finally seeing more options on the market. However, the shift in inventory is not consistent, as co-op listings are actually still down 2% year-over-year. It’s condo inventory that’s growing—up 22% year-over-year—driven by new developments entering the market. A rule to remember: a market in equilibrium has two times the number of available listings as quarterly sales.
Average price per square foot continued to climb, up 12% annually to $1,305 market-wide (condo and co-op, new and resale combined). Average price per square foot has now risen year-over-year for eleven consecutive quarters. Resale price per square foot performed strongly year-over-year with co-ops increasing 12% and resale condos increasing 7%. But new development far outpaced the rest of the market, with a 30% rise year-over year in price per square foot. The new developments closing this quarter tended to be larger residences, in more luxurious buildings and in prime locations.