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.
After watching the world’s wealthiest snap up one trophy property after the next—a $52.5 million co-op at 740 Park here, a $90 million penthouse at One57 there—it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that not all segments of the Manhattan real estate market has been drowning in a deluge of cash.
Thank goodness for the sobering arrival of second quarter market reports. A slew of reports released today show that while the uber-rich were out hunting for ever-more exquisite homes during these last few months, the merely well-off (buying in Manhattan is not, after all, for the masses) engaged in more sedate apartment shopping.
It’s crystal ball time again, in which we use the past, the present and market reports to look into the future of real estate market.
There have been so many high-profile sales in Manhattan in the first quarter of the year, at the same time unemployment falls and apartments are—goodness!—disappearing. How is it, then, that housing prices here are still not rising?
“The first quarter of the Manhattan housing market showed a modest uptick in Read More
Do the Dip
Not since that ebullient fall of 2006 have Manhattan office brokers been so busy.
Leasing activity hit a four-year high in 2010, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s fourth-quarter Manhattan office report. Activity rose 61.4 percent in 2010 compared to the year before.
The bulk of the activity was in renewals, Joe Harbert, Cushman & Wakefield’s Read More
The fourth-quarter Manhattan housing numbers came out on Tuesday. The Times said up, The Journal said down. Corcorcan saw one thing, Halstead another. Who’s right, who’s wrong, what gives?
Naturally, we called soothsayer Jonathan Miller for the answer.
“My takeaway is, relative to where we came from, Read More