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Manhattan Market Report | First Quarter 2014

Following an extremely strong 2013, closed sales in the Manhattan market remained numerous duringFirst Quarter 2014, up 25% year-over-year to over 3,200 sales. With a proportional increase
in sales at  the high end, the price per square foot and the average price both topped the Second Quarter 2008 peak.

Ultra-low inventory levels strongly contributed to this quarter’s substantial price appreciation.
Across the market, both the average price per square foot and median price increased by double digits
when compared to First Quarter 2013. 

Market-wide price per square foot averaged $1,276, exceeding the Second Quarter 2008 peak of $1,261 by 1%. Condominium values played a large role in that change; the average price per foot for resale condos reached $1,420, a 13% increase from First Quarter 2013. 

Year-over-year, the median price increased 12% for resale condos and 15% for resale co-ops. Larger units in particular continue to post significant price gains; three+ bedroom units gained 25% in median price market-wide this quarter, compared to an 8% gain in studio units.

Thanks to closings in major luxury properties, new development pricing also rose to new heights. Average price increased 69% to $3.285 million, median price 35% to $1.880 million, and price per square foot 40% to $1,776. With their outstanding popularity and intense demand from luxury buyers, new development products skew bigger than the rest of the market; 31% of new development closings this quarter were in three+ bedroom units. While new developments represented only 11% of market-wide closings, they drove some of the biggest price gains.

Despite the large increase in closings this quarter, signed contracts were down versus this time last year. This can be attributed in large part to limited inventory which in the First Quarter 2014 
was 17% lower than the First Quarter 2013 and the unusually harsh winter and lack of large new development projects opening this quarter also played a role. 

This report uses market-wide data based on transactions that closed in the First Quarter 2014 (January 1 through March 31) and compares it to closings that took place last quarter and during the same quarter last year. Closings typically occur eight to twelve weeks after a contract is signed in the resale market but can occur several years later for new developments. For that reason, the sales activity discussed trails actual market conditions.
For Manhattan property owners thinking of selling, there has never been a better or more advantageous time. For buyers looking to act in this market, swift and aggressive action is called for. 

Whichever you may be, I invite you to contact me with your questions about the First Quarter 2014 Corcoran Report and on the market in general.

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