Manhattan apartment sales down

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Problems on Wall Street might finally be affecting the city’s housing market, as sales of homes in Manhattan have fallen by 6.4 percent in January and February compared to last year, while inventory increased by 15 percent, according to real estate appraiser Miller Samuel. Jonathan Miller, Miller Samuel’s president, blamed the turmoil on Wall Street, as financial firms have reported at least $208 billion in write-downs and have cut 34,000 jobs in the past nine months. But year-over-year swings are common for January and February, the Observer reports, and early 2007 was one of the real estate market’s busiest periods in recent times. And property prices have continued to increase. The city’s median home price increased almost 14 percent to $850,000 in the first two months of this year, said Gregory Heym, chief economist for Terra Holdings, which owns residential brokers Brown Harris Stevens and Halstead Property.

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