Manhattan housing prices, sales volume stagnant despite low inventory

June 27, 2013 10:00AM

Despite a rebound in housing prices and activity nationally, Manhattan co-op and condominium sale prices and volume have remained relatively flat, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Closed sales in the second quarter rose just 0.7 percent year-over-year and median prices a mere 0.2 percent year-over-year, according to the Journal’s review of city sales records. Average prices were up 2.2 percent year-over-year.

The stagnation in the Manhattan market comes in spite of the well-chronicled inventory shortage and buyer bidding wars, which have shifted power to sellers, as The Real Deal reported. The number of deals in contract is the highest it has been in recent years, which could push prices up higher in coming months, brokers told the Journal.

But buyers are still showing caution, the brokers said, due to fears of overpaying and worries of another housing bust.

Despite “a great demand and a small supply,” buyers, even very wealthy ones, “are reluctant to pay a price that is not justifiable,” Hall Willkie, the president of Brown Harris Stevens, told the Journal.

“The market is going forward full speed ahead, but [it is also] very selective,” Kirk Henckels, director of Stribling Private Brokerage, told the Journal. “Buyers are not the drunken sailors they were back [before the crash],” he said. [WSJ]  – Hiten Samtani