Lessons from a decade of Manhattan real estate sales

TRD New York /
Jan.January 30, 2014 06:18 PM

A ten-year retrospective on Manhattan real estate by leading brokerage Douglas Elliman produced some revealing facts. For instance, it may make sense to go co-op over condo, not to tarry over bedroom count and be decisive — inventory is at historic lows with no signs of the shortage abating.

Co-ops have always been on average less expensive than condominiums, but with 30 percent more bang for the same amount of buck nowadays, co-op purchases go further, according to a survey of Manhattan co-op and condominium sales by appraisal firm Miller Samuel and Elliman. In 2013, the price gap between average co-op price and average condominium price was $299 — up 68 percent from $177 per square foot in 2004.

“It speaks to the changing housing stock in Manhattan,” appraiser and market analyst Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel, told BrickUnderground. “The new product entering the market is luxury.”

In either type of unit, the number of bedrooms may be less meaningful than the actual square footage. Average square footage at three- and four-bedrooms has shrunk over the last 10 years, with the former dwindling by around 750 square feet and the latter by nearly 1,000 square feet. Studios, meanwhile, haven’t changed much, holding at an average of roughly 1,270 square feet in 2013.

But regardless of value and space, it pays to hustle in today’s market. Last year Manhattan apartments zoomed into contract in 121 days on average, down from 172 days the year before. And that’s on top of volume that is down to begin with, with 4,162 available listings in 2013 — the lowest number in 14 years, according to the report. [BrickUnderground]Julie Strickland

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