Manhattan 4QFY08 Sales


*To view reports: Move mouse over brokerage name. Each “Report” will open in new window.


Yesterday, as I worked from my office I had CNBC on the television. The segment of interest dealt with the “Luxury Market”* in Manhattan.  Dolly Lenz (PDE) and Pam Lieberman (CORCORAN) really did not have anything that was “new” to say. However, Dolly did admit to having 5-6 deals that basically fell apart after contracts were signed and her high end clients walked from their significant deposits. 

Looking at the three reports from the BIG 3 in town the summaries are similar but the numbers are not…

As I have mentioned before: I wish the Department of Finance would restructure their process and methodology here in Manhattan. There should not be a discrepancy…  

Prudential Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel*

The Numbers:

Average apartment sales price: $1,485,102

Median sales price: $900,000

Average sales price per square foot: $1,183



 Report author Jonathan Miller, president of CEO of Miller Samuel:


“There was a decline in price levels and the number of sales of re-sale apartments. Due to a surge in new-development closing activity in the current quarter and a lull in activity in the prior year quarter, the number of new-development closings and price levels rose over the period; however, these sales reflect the market 12 to 18 months ago.

In contrast to the more modest trends of closed sales, contract activity in the current quarter was marked by a sharp decline in sales activity and price levels. A periodic sampling of sales contracts showed a decline of 35% to 75% compared to the same period last year. Current contract price levels show an average decline of 20% from August 2008.”


The Corcoran Group and PropertyShark*

The Numbers:

Average sales price for existing apartments: $1,275,000

Median sales price for existing apartments: $759,000

Average price per square foot for existing apartments: $1,073


Corcoran CEO Pam Liebman in the report’s intro:


“The Fourth Quarter is usually not the busiest one for property closings, since its resale contracts are signed in the always-slow Third Quarter (when people are off for summer vacation or starting the new school year they don’t think much about moving house). But with so few transactions in the pipeline, downward pressure on prices will continue until a sense of urgency is restored for buyers.

For this reason, it is important to consider new developments in the proper context, because most of their contracts were signed in 2006 and 2007 before the current economic slowdown was upon the market in such force. Prices of new development properties were strongly higher as several significant buildings – such as 995 Fifth Avenue and 170 East End Avenue – reached the finish line this quarter after several years of work.”




Brown Harris Stevens and Halstead Property*

The Numbers:

Average co-op sales price: $1,103,952

Average condo sales price: $1,713,124

Average sales price per square foot for townhouses: $1,550


Report author Gregory Heym, chief economist for Terra Holdings, the brokerages’ parent company, in the report’s intro:


“Closing prices for Manhattan apartments averaged $1,449,621 during the fourth quarter, up slightly from a year ago but down 2% from the third quarter. While closings at 15 Central Park West and The Plaza had inflated prices over the past few quarters, this was not the case during the fourth quarter. Removing these two buildings brings the average price down just $24,230 to $1,425,391, which would be up 2% from the comparable third quarter figure and the second highest figure on record. …

New developments continued to account for a higher percentage of closings during the fourth quarter. Comprising 42% of all sales, and 72% of condominium sales, they sold for an average price of $1,717,115, 3% higher than the prior quarter. As we have pointed out in previous reports, these deals are typically negotiated far in advance of when they close. On average, new developments that closed during the fourth quarter had their contract signed on Nov. 16, 2007.”