Seeing a High Rise in Prices


By JENNIFER FERMINO
New York Post
February 3, 2011

Manhattan apartments ‘sale’ away

In another sign that the city’s battered real-estate market is on the way back, prices of apartments and townhouses all around Manhattan are shooting up.

The median price of a co-op or condo in the borough is now $880,000 — 3.5 percent more than it was in 2009, according to an encouraging new report from the realty firm Prudential Douglas Elliman.

Manhattan hasn’t yet turned from a buyers’ into a sellers’ market, but it’s at least stable, according to Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers, which conducted the research for the report.

Apartments are selling faster and fewer markdowns have to be offered to entice wary buyers, according to the report.

The average time an apartment spent on the market decreased from 179 days in 2009 to 119 in 2010.

Meanwhile, the average discount on a pad for sale dropped to 7.1 percent, from 10.2 percent the prior year.

People are buying and selling more apartments as well.

The number of apartment sales jumped 35.4 percent — from 7,430 in 2009 to 10,060 units in 2010.

“We’re seeing a reasonably normal pace of activity, far better than the dark days of 2009, but below the peak,” said Miller.

The median price for an apartment in prerecession 2008 was $955,000.

The city’s most expensive residences — townhouses — are also attracting well-heeled buyers more quickly.

And more than half of the ones sold in 2010 are occupied by single families, according to Douglas Elliman’s Townhouse Market report, which tracks that gold-plated market.

A Fifth Avenue townhouse across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art was bought by Mexican mogul Carlos Slim for $44 million.

The median price of a townhouse skyrocketed 13.2 percent in 2010 — jumping from $3.4 million to $3.85 million.

And that was 114.5 percent more than a townhouse cost at the beginning of the decade.

Like apartments, more townhouses are selling, and they’re on the market for less time.

Some 197 townhouses were sold in 2010, compared to 149 in 2009.

And they were purchased after 117 days on the market. In 2009, the figure was 142 days.

As far as apartments go, the average price per square foot was $1,203 last year, an 8.3 percent increase from $1,111 in 2009.

The areas where condos and co-ops showed the biggest increases in price per square foot in 2010 were Midtown East, Chelsea and SoHo/TriBeCa.

jennifer.fermino@nypost.com

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