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Manhattan Residential Market Sets New Records

Photo of Steven James James says “the co-op and condo market showed strength” in 2017.

NEW YORK CITY—The condominium/cooperative housing market in Manhattan posted record sale prices in 2017 and even sales activity, which had been on a downward spiral the past three years, increased 4.1% as compared to 2016 sales volume.

Residential brokerage firm Douglas Elliman released Thursday sales reports on the condo-co-op markets, as well as the niche townhouse sales market in 2017. The firm also released comparative statistics on the Manhattan residential market for the past decade.

“In Manhattan, the co-op and condo market showed strength and despite the decline of closings in the new development pipeline of legacy sales, market-wide price trend indicators all set record highs,” says Steven James, CEO of New York City, Douglas Elliman. “As for quantity of sales, after three years of declines, numbers rose year-over-year as the market rebounded from the doldrums of 2016.”

In terms of new records, the median sale price of a condo-co-op in Manhattan rose 3.6% to $1.14 million. At the end of 2016, the median price was $1.1 million. The average sale price of a condo-co-op rose slightly (0.1%), but enough to reach record territory at $2,053,273. The average price per-square-foot also inched a bit higher (0.2)% to a new record at $1,775.

In addition to sales rising 4.1% to 11,927, other key metrics that saw increases as compared to last year include listing inventory spiking 5.1% higher to 5,393, days on market rising from 89 to 101 days and the listing discount growing from 3.2% in 2016 to 5.3% at the end of 2017. It should be noted that 2017 sales activity was 11.2% below the sales record set in 2007.

Photo of Jonathan Miller Miller says the inventory of townhouses on the market shrank “as sellers pulled their overpriced properties.”

Sales activity and other market metrics for the niche townhouse market in Manhattan were mixed. However, price trend indicators set new records last year in Northern Manhattan, where the median sale price reached $2.2 million, up 4.8% from 2016 and the average sale price rose 6.2% to $2,236,970.

“What we saw in 2017 was that the inventory of townhouses on the market shrank as sellers pulled their overpriced properties,” says Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel Inc., the author of the sales reports. “While Northern Manhattan townhouses set new price trend records and the average of luxury prices per square foot rose, the number of sales of townhouses fell sharply.”

In fact, both townhouse prices and sales declined in 2017—the median sales price fell 6.7% to $4,637,500 as compared to 2016 and the number of sales dropped 18.3%% to 250 transactions. One bright spot was that the average price per-square-foot for a Manhattan townhouse increased 4.7% to $1,667 last year. The average sale price also increased 5% to $6,559,813.

Speaking to Miller’s statement on declining inventory, the Douglas Elliman report states that inventory fell 13.9% to 354 units, due at least in part to over-priced listings being taken off the market. The brokerage firm says that the days on market fell from 164 in 2016 to 140 at year’s-end 2017. The listing discount increased from 10% the previous year to 10.4% in 2017.

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