At first blush, the fourth-quarter Manhattan market reports would seem to be evidence of a holiday miracle: co-op boards were overwhelmed by contracts, inventory plummeted, prices skyrocketed and a tremendous amount of money changed hands.
Manhattan ended 2012 with a grand finale: more fourth quarter sales than it has seen in 25 years, according to Douglas Elliman, and the lowest level of inventory in more than a decade. Alas, as is increasingly the case in the Manhattan real estate market and the city at large, the wealth was not spread out evenly in the end-of-the-year closings. The trophy market, while shining brightly, is something of a false beacon when it comes to the Manhattan real estate. It illuminates the seemingly unshakeable good fortunes of the world’s wealthiest, but does not reveal the decidedly uncertain recovery and unstable footing of the financially struggling masses. Read More