Manhattan Is the New Lilliput

That’s not to say that the larger Manhattan apartments don’t devour slices of the sales market still. The market share of two-bedrooms increased quarter over quarter to 44 percent from 43 percent—and from 42 percent in the second quarter of 2005—according to Miller Samuel, making this size the aspirant for Manhattan home purchases now.

But affordability—the simple arithmetic of it all, including maintenance fees, mortgage rates, insurance, etc.—dictates that smaller apartments remain the keyhole for unlocking Manhattan homeownership. For how long, though?

In early 1999, the average sales price of a Manhattan studio drifted over the $200,000 mark. About a year later, according to Miller Samuel, one-bedrooms started averaging over $300,000 on the sales market; and two-bedrooms went for less than $1 million, on average, as recently as 2002. These numbers appear quaint now, the sort of cocktail banter that fuels grudges and endears wealthier elders to estranged wild childs.

The local economy remains strong, particularly the ubiquitous financial sector; and Manhattan—womb of the luxury-condo as lifestyle-accoutrement and keeper of the housing boom that’s busted in much of the nation—remains the luxury brand Mayor Bloomberg once called it. If this reality persists, the sales prices from early 2007, even for the smaller apartments, should one year soon appear just as quaint.

Manhattan Is the New Lilliput