Manhattan development site prices bounce back to boom-time highs

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Sales prices for Manhattan development sites rebounded in 2010 to their levels from the height of the real estate boom, according to a new report from Eastern Consolidated (see the full report below). Transaction volume was up modestly over the course of the year, but the average price per buildable square foot, and the average transaction size, soared to unexpected highs, the brokerage said. Land sale prices, which had plummeted to below $200 per square foot at the end of 2009, rose sharply during 2010 to an average of $330 per square foot. The previous high was seen during the first quarter of 2008, when prices were at $321 per buildable square foot. One caveat: a large portion of 2009 transactions took place in Upper Manhattan, while 2010 saw a concentration of large transactions in The Plaza District. Nonetheless, Peter Hauspurg, CEO of Eastern Consolidated, said “none of us here would have ever predicted in the dark days of 2009 that we would sell as many development sites in 2010 as we did and at prices seen as recently as 2008.” TRD