Nearly half of Manhattan’s homes sell for more than $1.2M: Report

Nearly half of Manhattan homes sold for more than $1.2 million, according to a StreetEasy report published on July 30, 2014.
Nearly half of Manhattan homes sold for more than $1.2 million, according to a StreetEasy report published on July 30, 2014. Photo Credit: iStock

Got $1.3 million? You might need it if you want to buy a Manhattan pad, especially south of 14th Street.

A report today by real estate group StreetEasy found that the median asking price for the borough’s co-op, condos and town houses was a record $1.24 million during the second quarter of 2014, an 18.2% jump from the same period last year. The report said about 47.2% of available Manhattan units were priced above $1.3 million and downtown’s pricey offerings fueled the growth.

Affordable housing advocates said they’re worried that if the trend continues Manhattan will only further become the exclusive terrain of the rich.

“None of this is reassuring to the everyday New Yorker who is struggling to make ends meet,” said Jonathan Westin, the executive director of the nonprofit New York Communities for Change.

The median listing price for downtown homes, defined as the Flatiron District and south, was $1.7 million.

The median listing price for downtown jumped 17.9% over the previous year.

SoHo led the borough with a $3.1 million median sales price.

Alan Lightfeldt, a StreetEasy data scientist, said the area has fewer available listings and is a hot commodity for investors and buyers.

“If you think about the neighborhoods in the downtown market … these are all very in-demand neighborhoods where there is a price premium,” he said.

Lightfeldt acknowledged that the demand “gives little incentive” for developing affordable housing in the borough even though the listings stay on the market for a median time of 49 days.

The report and its findings didn’t surprise Westin, who said record home and rental prices won’t reach the tipping point anytime soon. He pushed the city for extra help to give lower income New Yorkers a chance at owning a Manhattan home.

“What we need to be doing as a city is requiring developers to be building more affordable units at deeper affordable levels,” Westin said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has made fighting housing inequity a priority for his administration and so far helped to add more affordable apartments to the development in the former site of the Domino Sugar factory in Williamsburg.

Tom Waters, the housing policy analyst for the Community Service Society of New York, said Manhattan is running out of room to develop non-condo style buildings.

He pushed financial aid for struggling New Yorkers.

“I don’t think the city should give up on subsidies for people who make below $25,000 for home assistance,” he said.

StreetEasy’s report did have some silver linings for Manhattan home hunters especially if they take a peek at upper Manhattan where the majority of sales prices were below $621,000 in the second quarter. West Harlem had the lowest median sales price during the time period with $173,640, according to the report.