The Market

Market reports: Sorry, Manhattan won't become affordable anytime soon

By Virginia K. Smith  | October 1, 2015 - 11:59AM

In spite of rumblings earlier this week that Manhattan housing prices had dipped every so slightly, buyers in search of a bargain will still want to set their sights elsewhere, according to a bevy of 3rd quarter Manhattan sales reports released today. While the exact numbers differ, the overall picture is the same: If you're hoping to own a home anywhere in Manhattan, you're going to need cash, and lots of it.

While prices aren't quite setting "a record number of records" as they were in the second quarter of the year—indeed, they're down slightly based on a few indicators—year over year, prices are up, and all signs point to high-demand, speedy deals, a glut of all-cash buyers, and a lack of inventory. (And it seems the uncertainty with the Chinese market hasn't slowed things down much.)

"I think the two big points that illustrate the challenge of the market are the number of days on the market, and the percentage of listings that sold at or above asking price," says Jonathan Miller, who authored the reports for Douglas Elliman. Per his reports, listings now spend an average of 73 days on the market, the shortest time since he started keeping track back in 1996.

And 53.9 percent of transactions went for "at or above" the listing price, meaning, according to miller, "that there are a lot of bidding wars going on. And people who paid above list price paid 8.2 percent above asking on average, which is double what it was a year ago." One more startling number from the Elliman report: 51 percent of transactions recorded were all cash—believe it or not, that's not actually a record—a fact Miller attributes to an increase in closings in pricey (and cash-friendly) new developments.

Prices did, however dip in one very small segment of the market: According to Brown Harris Steven's reports, the price of resale apartments three bedrooms or larger fell six percent in the area between 59th and 96th, and seven percent in the same size category below 14th street. Halstead's report shows a similar dip in the prices of larger co-ops, which they attribute to "low inventory and over-pricing at the high end of the market." But hey, at least prices dropped somewhere, right? Check out the key figures from the reports below:


Median sales price: $998,000, a 9.9 percent year-over-year increase

Median co-op sales price: $775,000, a 5.1 percent year-over-year increase

Median condo sales price: $1.5 million, a 15.5 percent year-over-year increase

Average sales price: $1,737,565, a 3.1 percent year over year increase

Number of days on the market: 73, a 20.7 percent drop (and all-time record)


​Median sales price: $995,000

Average co-op sales price: $1,245,171

Average condo sales price: $2,327,244


Median sales price: $1,040,000

Median sales price co-ops: $800,000

Available inventory: 6,366, a 20 percent year over year drop


Average condo sales price: $2,203,264

Average co-op sales price: $1,243,508


Median sales price: $999,000, a 12 percent year-over-year increase (and 10-year high)

Average sales price: $1.71 million, a four percent year over year increase

Median sales price for new developments: $4.82 million

Available inventory: 4,832 units, a 13 percent year-over-year decrease


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What China's stock market meltdown means for NYC real estate

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