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Manhattan sales prices hit record highs in 4Q 2015

Sales prices in Manhattan hit new highs in

Sales prices in Manhattan hit new highs in 2015, according to Douglas Elliman. Photo Credit: iStock

Sales prices in Manhattan skyrocketed to new highs in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to a market report released Tuesday.

The median sales price for homes in the borough rose 17.3% to $1,150,000, which set a 27-year record and surpassed highs from before the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, according to Douglas Elliman.

The price per square foot in Manhattan homes went up 28.1% to $1,645, the report found.

More specifically, the median sales price for Manhattan condos climbed 21.3% to $1,735,641 in the fourth quarter, Douglas Elliman reported. Comparatively, the median sales price in the co-op market rose only 2.6% to $749,000.

The surge in the condo market was largely driven by the ultraluxury new development sector, according to Jonathan Miller, president of the real estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel, which publish the Douglas Elliman reports. Since the co-opmarket is mostly a resale market, it doesn’t see the same frenzy.

But while these numbers may make it seem to the rest of the world that New Yorkers are living in the lap of luxury, Miller said in reality the sales market is still a tough one to navigate for most residents.

Nearly 48% of Manhattan homes closed at or above list price in the fourth quarter, which reflects high bidding wars, he said.

“The bulk of [New York] is seeing limited supply, and a highly competitive market,” Miller said.

And for buyers who think they can avoid these prices by looking uptown or in the outer boroughs, the solution isn’t that simple, according to another report from Warburg Realty president Frederick Peters.

Homes in Crown Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Prospect-Lefferts Gardens in Brooklyn; Long Island City and Astoria in Queens; and Washington Heights and Harlem in Manhattan rarely sell for less than $1 million, and most go for more than $1.5 million, Peters reported in his fourth-quarter overview.

The rise in prices in those areas is a positive change, Peters said, because it reflects an interest in the New York City market among local buyers.

“While we remain, and will continue to be, an investor marketplace for buyers from around the world, the primary driver of 2015 business has been local residents,” he said in his report.


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