Here are three articles on 3rd Quarter 2009 Manhattan real estate reports. (There are a number of similar points of reference between Manhattan and Aspen real estate. Some of those are: Both are ‘islands’ of relative prosperity driven by geographically – and artificially – constrained supply and historic high demand; both are high end luxury real estate markets; Manhattan is one leading indicator of where the Aspen real estate market is headed. Editor)

Manhattan Apartment Prices Drop for Second Straight Quarter, Sales Rise, BB

Manhattan apartment prices fell for a second consecutive quarter, helping drive the biggest gain in sales in more than 13 years as buyers seized on discounts.The median price slid 8.4 percent to $850,000 in the third quarter from a year earlier, New York appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and broker Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate said today. The number of sales jumped 46 percent from the second quarter, the biggest third quarter increase since 1996. Values fell for cooperatives and condominiums of every size and price as New York City’s unemployment rate jumped to 10.3 percent in August. While the declines weren’t as deep as the second quarter, Manhattan is far from recovering from a recession and global credit crisis that has led to the loss of more than 183,000 banking and securities jobs in the Americas. Year over year, third-quarter sales declined 16 percent.“We’re turning the corner but we are not at a bottom,” Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel, said in an interview. “We still have very tight credit, elevated unemployment and we have shadow inventory.” There are about 6,000 apartments in new developments that haven’t been listed for sale, he said.
By Oshrat Carmiel, Oct 2, 2009 Bloomberg
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NYC Apt.Sales Bounced Back Over the Summer but Not All the Way, NYT

After a year of declines in Manhattan co-op and condominium sales, the residential market has perked up enough for real estate appraisers and brokers to at least debate the question on the minds of many New Yorkers: Has the market reached a bottom yet? Market reports released on Friday showed that during this year’s third quarter, July through September, the number of sales rose steeply from the second quarter, but remained below the levels of last year’s third quarter…Jonathan Miller, an appraiser who, as the president of Miller Samuel Inc., prepares the market report for Prudential Douglas Elliman, said that while the Manhattan housing market may be improving in some ways, it had “not yet found a bottom.”Mr. Miller cited high local unemployment, tight credit and a “shadow inventory” of new condominiums not officially listed on the market as reasons for pessimism. On the other hand, he noted, sales have picked up and the number of owners listing apartments is falling.
By Josh Barbanel, Oct 2, 2009 NYT
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Market Reports: Manhattan Free Fall May Be Over,

A month of pep talks about the rebound of the Manhattan market have led to this: The release of the major brokerages’ third-quarter market reports. So, was all the good cheer warranted? Maybe! We direct your attention to the two graphs above. At the tippy top is Prudential Douglas Elliman’s artistic interpretation of average Manhattan sales prices, by quarter. Please note that the sky has stopped falling. Elliman’s report, prepared by Curbed graph guru Jonathan Miller (more from JMillz later) actually showed a tiny little increase in average price from last quarter. Corcoran reported an 11% decrease from Q2, and the Halstead/Brown Harris Stevens numbers were pretty much flat. The takeaway: If Manhattan prices are still falling, the pace has slowed dramatically. For now. We don’t like wagering against unemployment, tight lending rules and shadow inventory.

The second graph is what the cheerleaders will really be championing: It’s from Corcoran’s report, and it shows that the number of sales were way up from the previous quarter. Up 16%, according to Corcoran; up a gigantoid 45%, according to Elliman. Transactions are still way down from 2008, but after the decimation of last quarter—when the brokerages’ sales were cut in half.
By Joey, Oct 2, 2009
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