Million dollar homes harder to come by

The number of Manhattan apartments for sale below $1 million are shrinking

3 Gramercy Park West
3 Gramercy Park West

WEEKENDEDITION Because of rising prices and a dearth of listings, New York City homebuyers looking for an apartment in the million-dollar price range are becoming forced to make considerable concessions.

According to a report by Douglas Elliman, the median sale price for a Manhattan apartment was $972,428 in the first quarter of the year, up 18.5 percent from the same period a year ago.

That’s 5 percent below the peak of $1.025 million in the second quarter of 2008 — the only time the median has crossed the $1 million threshold.

The problem is that new supply isn’t growing fast enough to meet the demand for apartments priced at $1 million or less. Although they still make up the bulk of the Manhattan market, that piece has shrunk considerably.

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About 52 percent of sales in Manhattan in the first quarter were below $1 million, compared with 60 percent for the same period a year ago, according to Jonathan Miller, author of Elliman’s report and president of Miller Samuel.

Comparatively, 71 percent of all Manhattan sales were below $1 million 10 years ago.

In the first quarter of the year, 4,692 apartments were for sale for $1 million or less, down about 20 percent from the same period last year, according to Streeteasy. Three years ago, 8,014 units were on the market for $1 million or less in the first quarter.

Compare all of this data to the national median sale price, which is $194,400, according to Zillow. [NYT] —TRD