Jonathan Miller On Summer '06: New York Realty Isn't So Bad

 Jonathan Miller On Summer '06: New York Realty Isn't So Bad
Mr. Matrix

Jonathan Miller, the best-informed man in the residential real estate biz, releases his 3rd Quarter report today. (Lots of other folks do too, obviously).

The big message is that there’s no need for panic. Residential prices are going down, Mr. Miller says, but they’re still higher than they were this time last year. So at least the bubble won’t have a violent burst, right?

And brokers beware: it took an average of 150 days to sell an apartment this quarter, which is two and a half weeks longer than the number for this time last year. Plus, discounts are on the rise. Salvation!

More after the jump.

Max Abelson

Highlights:
Overall Manhattan Market [includes entire island]
Overall prices slipped this quarter but remain higher than price levels seen in the same period a year ago. The inventory of apartments available for sale leveled off this quarter after 6 consecutive quarterly increases but remain higher than the same quarter last year. Falling mortgage rates and stabilization of inventory have not yet provided enough incentive to stimulate increased demand.

Although the number of sales captured in the third quarter rose unexpectedly, this is partially attributable to the release of co-op data into the public domain mid-quarter and a surge in closings of new development condos.

-The average sales price increased 12.1% to $1,288,748 over the prior year quarter average of $1,149,813 (7% below the prior quarter of $1,386,193, a record).
-The average price per square foot increased 6.7% to $1,050 over the prior year quarter result of $984 (3% below the prior quarter result of $1,083, a record).
-The median sales price increased 12.7% to $845,147 over the prior year quarter median of $750,000 (4% below prior quarter median of $880,000, a record).

-The number of sales totaled 2,113 units, a 5.8% increase from the prior year quarter total of 1,997 units and 9.3% above the prior quarter total of 1,934 units. The increase in the number of sales was partially due to the increase in the number of co-op sales due to their entry into the public domain and partially offset by the decline in condo sales. The drop in the number of condo sales was more indicative of overall current market conditions.

-Listing inventory stabilized at 7,623 units, down 0.2% from the prior quarter but 32.3% above the prior year quarter. This is the first quarter with stable inventory levels after 6 consecutive quarterly increases. Overall inventory has increased 94.4% since the 4th quarter of 2004.

-The number of days it took to sell an apartment, which is a lagging indicator, edged up slightly, to 150 days from 144 days last quarter. It took 17 days longer on average to sell a property as compared to the same period last year.

-Negotiability expanded slightly with the listing discount rising to 4% for the quarter, from 3.5% last quarter and 2.2% from the prior year quarter.

Co-op Market
-The average price per square foot of a co-op increased 5.4% to $935 from the prior year quarter amount of $887 but was 6% below the record set in the prior quarter of $995 per square foot. Both median sales price and average sales price followed similar patterns.

-Inventory levels for co-ops reached 3,680 units up 6.9% from the prior year quarter total of 3,441 units but down 10.4% from the prior quarter total of 4,105 units. Co-op listings are comprised of nearly all re-sales, with limited new co-op development added to the housing stock.

Condo Market
-The average price per square foot of a condo increased 6% to $1,171from $1,105 in the prior year quarter and up 3.3% from the prior quarter average sales price of $1,453,803.

-Inventory levels for condos totaled 3,943 units, up 69.7% from the prior year quarter total of 2,323 units and up 11.5% from the prior quarter total of 3,535 units. The gain in inventory is primarily attributable to new development.

Luxury Market (upper 10% of all co-op and condo sales)
-The luxury apartment market set an average sales price of $4,509,833 which was 17.9% above the prior year quarter average of $3,824,079, but 10% below the prior quarter average sales price of $5,013,147. The average price per square foot was the second highest on record at $1,721, second only to the prior quarter average price per square foot of $1,842. Continued strength in this market segment has been attributable largely to record bonus income in the financial services sector, which has been projected to be above the record level set last year.

Loft Market (co-op and condo sales)
-Lofts represented 7.2% of all sales and 11.1% of the aggregate sales dollars in the current quarter, more in line with activity levels of the past several years.

The average size of a loft apartment this quarter was 1,826 square feet, up 8.2% over the prior quarter and the largest average size posted in nearly 2 years.

Jonathan J. Miller, CRP
President/CEO
MILLER SAMUEL INC.