Last year, the Manhattan Real Estate showed slow and steady progress which gladdened the hearts of several residential and commercial property owners and real estate agents. However, the first quarter of 2011 hasn’t been as heartening, with news of poor sales and decline in price floating in from every corner of the city.
A look at the sales reports from various brokerage firms in Manhattan indicates obvious signs of weakness. Halstead Property and Brown Harris Stevens have painted the blackest picture. Their reports indicate a 5% dip in the average apartment price and the sales in the first quarter of this year were down 23% from last year. The reports provided by Streeteasy.com too differed very little from its competitors. Their sales volume had gone down by 21% from last year’s.
The Corcoran Group has some good news to offer us with an increase of 6% in sales from last year. However, they too had to confess that the average price had fallen by 4%. Mirroring similar trend, Prudential Douglas Elliman’s reports reflected steady sales but an almost 10% decreased median sales price from last year.
Bleak as the picture might be, market experts, analysts, and brokers are not willing to throw in the towel so soon. They are of the opinion that it’s too early in the day to predict doom and disaster for Manhattan real estate. They disagree that NYC is going to follow the nation’s trend of going into a double dip as far as housing prices are concerned. Besides, with New York’s finance sector having added 11,000 jobs in the last year, analysts believe there is no reason for such dismal pessimism.
Where most reports from brokerage firms indicate deals closed in the previous quarter, Elliman’s report includes the price index for impending sales – sales that haven’t been closed yet but are in contract. These figures show an increase of 7.1% from last year’s price index. They have every reason to believe that there’s going to be an upswing of prices in next quarter’s report. The same sentiment has been echoed by the Corcoran Group. The contracts signed in March reflect an average sales price increase of 23% from last year.
In addition, the luxury market is also showing an increase. Corcoran reveals that in this quarter alone, they have bagged nine deals that are worth over $10 million whereas last year, the number of similar deals closed were only 4. Corcoran agents are of the opinion that more people are displaying confidence in the Manhattan real estate and its only a matter of time before the statistics will be singing a different tune altogether.