Elliman internal document shows decline in average contract price

TRD New York /
Jul.July 17, 2009 01:49 PM

Manhattan prices likely have further to fall, a recent contract signing report from the city’s largest brokerage indicates.

The average sales price for a contract signed in June was $1.078 million, down from $1,260,753 in May, according to the internal report, obtained by The Real Deal, which tracked signed contracts from Prudential Douglas Elliman’s Manhattan offices dated June 5 to July 3.

That’s 17.8 percent lower than the average sales price quoted in Elliman’s recent market-wide second-quarter report. The two figures measure different data sets, since market reports are based on closed sales, which often take place months or years after a contract is signed. But contracts signings may be a clue to what future market reports may hold, since they provide a rare glimpse or real-time market conditions.

Contract data is rarely available, however, because it is not public information.

The Elliman report also showed some positive signs. The median sales price increased to $805,000 in June from $705,000 a month earlier, though that’s still lower than the $835,700 median sales price quoted in the second-quarter report.

Meanwhile, discounts from last asking price decreased to 5.6 percent from 11 percent from May, the report shows, while the discount from original asking price decreased to 13.7 percent from 26 percent.

Though the report did not say how many total contracts the company signed in June, it says the month’s transactions increased by 47 percent from May, and Manhattan saw more transactions in June 2009 than in June 2008.

Quarterly reports from several companies showed a surge of activity starting in mid-May, for sales and rentals.

The internal Elliman report also found that in June the majority of homes — 91 percent — sold by Elliman’s Manhattan agents traded below their asking prices and for less than $1 million.

Meanwhile, 7 percent sold at the asking price and 2 percent were above it, according to the report.

And 67 percent of the signed contracts recorded amounts of less than $1 million. Twenty-two percent were less than $500,000, 45 percent were between $500,000 and $1 million, and 24 percent sold for between $1 million and $2 million. The remaining 9 percent of sales went for 2 million and above.

The lowest contract signed was for $137,500 and the highest was for $8.45 million.

Elliman confirmed the contents of the report but declined to comment further.

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