The Real Deal New York

Manhattan townhouses sell at brisk clip in 2013

January 30, 2014 11:40AM

Manhattan townhouses traded at the fastest level seen in 17 years in 2013, with transactions increasing 17.7 percent year-over-year to a total of 326 deals, according to a townhouse report released today by residential brokerage Douglas Elliman.

The dramatic pace of sales resulted from low listings inventory, which fell 16.5 percent over last year to 343 deals, and pressed the townhouse absorption rate — the number of months it would take to sell all inventory at the current pace of sales – down to 12.6 months, a 29.2 percent drop year-over-year.

Meanwhile, pricing remained relatively steady. The median price for a Manhattan townhouse inched up to $3.59 million last year, just a 2.6 percent uptick year-over-year. But the average sales price actually dropped, by 8.2 percent to $4.8 million.

However, prices for luxury townhomes, while remaining consistent last year, have been skyrocketing at a disproportionate rate in the long term — almost twice the pace of the overall market, the data show.

The median sales price for a luxury townhouse – defined as the top 10 percent of sales – increased by 69.4 percent over the last decade, to $15.5 million in 2013, while prices in the the overall market increased by just 33 percent, to $1.44 million.

Uptown townhouses traded for a median sales price of $1.2 million last year, a 21 percent jump over 2012, while Downtown’s traded at a median of $5.6 million, a 3.4 percent decline. — Katherine Clarke