The Rental Market

Are the super rich leaving NYC?

By Lucy Cohen Blatter | April 1, 2015 - 1:15PM

While we've learned to take them with a grain of salt, the first quarter Manhattan market reports are out today, and the main thing we've gleaned from them:  NYC is still a playground for the rich, but the super-rich may be headed elsewhere to play.

Demand for super high-end properties has calmed down in favor of the medium high-end properties (in the under-$2 million range), which are white-hot.  (This may have something to do with the fact that super-high end properties have been built up like crazy — just take a walk down 57th Street and you'll see).

According to the Douglas Elliman market report, the top 10 percent of co-ops and condos saw its median sales price fall over 10 percent to $5,142,162. (Translation: Good deals to be had if you happen to be on the top half of the 1 percent). And  there were also nearly 20 percent fewer luxury sales compared to last year.

Frederick Warburg Peters, president of Warburg Realty, says in a blog post the numbers reflect the fact that new developments that are slightly less expensive are opening up, as well as the weakening Euro and trouble with the Russian economy. In his blog, Peters also mentions that co-ops — even the often sought-after co-ops of Park Avenue and Sutton Place — are lagging on the market since buyers are less interested in dealing with the board.

As usual, though, the market reports paint somewhat different pictures, with different numbers across the board. But it seems that everyone agrees housing prices either have plateaued or fell slightly, meaning that though the market is still in favor of sellers, it may be slightly less so than buyers fear.

(The more competitive -- and therefore more pricey -- market this year may actually be in Brooklyn. So brace yourselves Brooklynites.)

Inventory levels in Manhattan did increase, but only slightly. Here are the numbers, according to the firms:


Median price: $900,000, a .2% decrease from the same time last year

Median price per square foot: $1,401, a 3 % decrease from last year

Median asking price for available inventory:  $1,565,000, up 20.8% since a year ago

Percentage of available inventory that was listed in previous quarters: 62.5%

Inventory: 7,986, up 7.7 percent since last year


Median price: $955,000, up 6 %

Average  (note, not median) price per square foot: $1,602,  increased 5%

Average new development closed sale price: $2.89  million,  fell 11%

Inventory: 4, 973 units,  1% decrease

Median new development closed sale price: $1. 57 million, declined 12% 

Douglas Elliman

Median sales price: $970,000, unchanged

Price per square foot: $1,263, down 7.3 percent

Number of sales: 2,661,  fell 19.5% 

Listing inventory:  5,243,  increased 5.5%


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