For sellers, giving back some gains

By Alison Gregor | February 26, 2009 02:36PM

From the February issue: As prices drop in Manhattan, sellers are inevitably feeling like they are losing money because they can get less for their apartments now than they could a year ago. But while they may not profit the way they would have if they had sold while the market was booming, chances are that if they bought before 2005, they will still come out ahead. According to data compiled by Jonathan Miller, the president of the appraisal firm Miller Samuel, the median price of a condo in the fourth quarter of 2008 was $1.12 million. That compares to $1.15 million during the same time in 2007, $1.16 million in 2006, $1.04 million in 2005 and $941,768 in 2004. Going back even further to 2000, for example, the median price was $913,027 — still lower than today’s median. These numbers are adjusted for inflation unlike the usual market report data the firm releases, thus showing bigger dollar declines than those reports. On the co-op side the median price was $675,000 in the fourth quarter of 2008. And while it was higher than that between 2005 and 2007, it was lower in 2004.