The Real Deal New York

What a difference a decade makes: Manhattan pads up 40% since ’05

‘If you bought a townhouse 10 years ago, you’d be sitting in big money’
By E.B. Solomont | February 05, 2015 12:01AM

Just how high have Manhattan real estate prices climbed in the past decade?

Townhouses are 50 percent more expensive, while the average price for co-ops and condos is up 40.7 percent, according to a new report from Douglas Elliman. Luxury co-ops and condos? Up 64.4 percent.

The average sales price in Manhattan hit $1.7 million in 2014, a 26-year high, according to the report, which was published just after midnight. Overall, sales volume between 2005 and 2014 was up 25.3 percent, with 12,695 sales last year – the third-highest in 30 years.

“2014 was one of the most active markets in modern history,” said Jonathan Miller, president of real estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel and author of the Elliman report. He said the brisk pace of sales was “remarkable considering how constricted credit remains and how many [new development] contracts are signed” but not closed.

The report also found that 2014 listing inventory (4,995 properties) was the fourth-lowest in 15 years, and the absorption rate of 4.7 months was the second-fastest in 16 years.

As for pricing, Miller said the record prices are a function of tight supply. They also reflect new luxury units that have been added to the market. The average sales price for luxury co-ops and condos was $7.3 million in 2014, up 64.4 percent from $4.5 million in 2005.

Steven James, president of Douglas Elliman Manhattan, added that prices reflect the strength of the residential market for investment purposes. “Clearly if you bought a townhouse 10 years ago, you’d be sitting in big money today,” he said.

Here’s how different segments of the market stacked up.


Co-ops saw their market share drop to 60.2 percent in 2014, from 70.7 percent in 1989. The median co-op price rose 16.5 percent in 2014 to $740,000, compared with $635,000 a decade ago. The average co-op price rose 46 percent to $1.5 million from just over $1 million in 2005.


Condo sales captured 39.8 percent of the market share, up from 29.3 percent in 1989. The median sales price for condos showed the largest gains, compared to other segments of the market, jumping 40.5 percent to $1.35 million from $961,000. The average sales price rose 40.1 percent to $2.1 million from $1.5 million.

“On the new development side, we have more new product coming in,” Miller said, with prices “skewed by larger, more expensive” units


Townhouses only represent 2.5 percent of the market. The median townhouse price rose 30.2 percent in 2014 to $4.1 million from $3.1 million in 2005. The average townhouse price jumped 51.1 percent to $5.9 million from $3.9 million.

“We have had an expansion of participation by international buyers,” said Miller. “That accounts for recent upticks in the prices being paid for townhouses… It’s truly a niche market.”