The fourth quarter of 2015 was a record-breaker for Manhattan co-ops and condos, as the median price, average price and price-per-square-foot were the highest ever. The median sales price is up 17.3 percent year over year to $1.15 million, price per square foot is up 28.1 percent to $1,645, and the average sales price is up 12 percent to $1.95 million, according to Douglas Elliman.
"It was a very good year," says Diane Ramirez, CEO of Halstead Property. Considering the fact that new developments are selling for, on average, twice the price of resales, Ramirez describes 2015 as "the year of the condo."
In fact, condominiums (which include new developments and resales) accounted for 50 percent of sales, the highest percentage since the first quarter of 2009, according to Brown Harris Stevens.
And Jonathan Miller, author of the Elliman report, expects more of the same for 2016 as luxury and super-luxury new developments continue to close. While in the fourth quarter of 2015, 18.6 percent of all closings were new developments (up from 10 percent at the same time in 2014), Miller predicts the market share of new developments could double in 2016.
But it's not just the newbies that are moving prices upward. The median price of resale properties increased by 8 percent during the fourth quarter (though new developments, on the other hand, saw a whopping 15.4 percent increase in median prices).
"The good news is that inventory for resales is up 20.2 percent year-over-year, but the bad news is that it's about 18 percent below the long-term average," says Miller.
Looking forward into the next quarter, he predicts: "If we don't see records on everything, we'll see near records, in part because the new development closings will increase and in part because of the dwindling resale inventory."
So, if you're still looking for something of a "bargain," you might still want to stick to co-ops (which make up a large number of those resales). Co-ops saw something of a modest increase in their median price year-over-year—2.6 percent—and now sit comfortably at a median price of $749,000.
But assuming you can swing the overall median of $1.15 million, here are three apartments—two co-ops and a condo—available right this very moment. You may want to move quickly.
A three-bedroom, two-bathroom co-op in the Upper Manhattan neighborhood of Hudson Heights, with river views throughout, in a 24-hour doorman building.
If you want to be further down in the heart of Manhattan, this Murray Hill two-bedroom, two-bath co-op has an eat-in kitchen and is located on a high floor.
Remember that if you're looking to go the condo route, you'll get less bang (likely square footage) for your proverbial buck. This alcove studio condo at the high-end 15 William building in the Financial District is also asking $1.15 million (though it's a rather large studio, at just under 700 square feet).