Manhattan apartment sales prices rising, real estate market reports say

Sales prices are soaring for Manhattan apartments, driven mostly by activity in the luxury market, according to real estate market reports released on Thursday.

The median sales price increased 18% from the second quarter in 2015 to the second quarter in 2016 to $1.15 million, according to a report from Corcoran.

Douglas Elliman also found that the median sales price rose 13.1% year-over-year to $1,108,500.

Sales of high-end properties, especially new developments, helped fuel this growth, according to the reports.

Douglas Elliman found that the median sales price in the luxury market (units priced at $5 million and above) rose 10.1%, to $6.6 million, from 2Q 2015 to 2Q 2016.

Meanwhile, Corcoran reported an 18% increase in the luxury market year-over-year to $6.5 million in 2Q 2016.

Resales base

Though new luxury developments helped drive up prices, most of the Manhattan market is resales.

According to Douglas Elliman, resales represented 81.5% of all the borough’s sales in 2Q 2016.

“Resale is more relevant in terms of the current market,” said Jonathan Miller, CEO of the appraisal firm Miller Samuel Inc., which distributes Douglas Elliman’s real estate reports.

On the resale side, Douglas Elliman reported that median prices remained unchanged year-over-year at $945,000 in 2Q in both 2015 and 2016. The price per square foot, however, rose 13.8% year-over-year to $1,453. This signals competition in the smaller end of the market that’s driving up prices for studios and one-bedrooms, Miller said.

Inventory up

Both reports also found inventory on the rise, with Douglas Elliman reporting that Manhattan’s overall sales inventory rose by 10% year-over-year to 6,352 available listings in 2Q 2016, while Corcoran found that it rose 11% to 6,409 units.

In the resale market specifically, Douglas Elliman found that inventory increased 25% year-over-year to 5,362 in 2Q 2016.

This rise doesn’t necessarily indicate a slow-down in buyer competition, but rather that sellers think this is a good time to unload property, Miller said.

“Inventory is rising because we’ve had price growth for a number of years now, and sellers are getting pulled in,” he said. “They’re looking to cash out and take advantage of all the price growth.”