Half of apartment sellers in 3rd quarter got their price or higher

Inventory still short of what market needs; median sale of luxury units now at $5M

Oct.October 01, 2014 12:01 AM

Nearly half of the Manhattan properties sold during the third quarter traded at or above their listed price, and at the highest level in six years, according to Douglas Elliman’s quarterly report released Wednesday.

Despite a 27.6 percent uptick in inventory during the quarter, the report found that nearly half of sales closed for the asking price or more.

“The implication is that… inventory is still falling short of what the market needs,” said Jonathan Miller, president of appraisal firm Miller Samuel and author of the report.

Overall, the number of listings during the third quarter is still 18 percent lower than the 10-year average. But the condo market saw a 52.5 percent increase in listings, with resale inventory rising by about a quarter (to 1,578 listings from 1,258) and new development inventory doubling (to 1,409 listings from 701).

But even with more product on the market, the number of sales during the third quarter dropped 13.3 percent year over year. Miller pointed out, however, that the number of sales has hovered around 3,300 for the past four quarters, which is 29 percent higher than the 10-year average. “There’s still unusually heavy volume,” he said, citing continued momentum in the market related to the release of pent-up demand in 2013.

Overall, the median sales price during the third quarter was $908,242, up a bit more than 4 percent from the same quarter last year, while the average sales priced jumped 17.4 percent to $1.7 million. Luxury sales outpaced the rest of the market, with the median price jumping 22 percent to $5 million. Marketwide, the price per square foot rose 11.7 percent to $1,270.

In line with Elliman’s data on still-tight inventory levels, Urban Compass reported in its first-ever quarterly report that during the third quarter, 10 percent of properties put on the market went into contract within 14 days. Forty percent went into contract between 15 and 36 days.

According to the Urban Compass report, 30 percent of properties listed at $10 million or more went into contract within 60 days, compared with 62 percent of properties under $500,000 that went into contract within 60 days.

“You see the lower end of the market snapping things up,” said Sofia Song, Urban Compass’ head of research and external affairs.

Meanwhile, Corcoran’s quarterly report found that the number of closings in the third quarter was the second-highest in five years.

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