“With 2/3 Manhattan Property Inventory Over-Priced, Bidding Wars Over Those Priced Correctly”
, says Manhattan appraiser Jonathan J. Miller

A year after the economy headed into a tailspin and at a time when most New Yorkers are still wondering whether real estate prices have hit bottom, brokers say that bidding wars are back. They are breaking out in all sectors of the market, from $400,000 one-bedrooms in Brooklyn Heights to $7 million apartments with grand park views at 15 Central Park West, and from stately Park Avenue prewar apartments to new condominiums in Williamsburg. In many cases, the jousting buyers start and end below the asking price. But in others, multiple bidders are pushing prices well above list price. To add a confounding twist, many of the bids are being made by buyers willing and able to pay all cash. Brokers say that bidding wars are almost always set up by listings that are “priced well,” and by that they mean 20 to 30 percent below the high-water marks of early 2008. Jonathan J. Miller, the president of the appraisal firm Miller Samuel, estimated that two-thirds of the roughly 4,000 apartments for sale in Manhattan are priced too high for the current market.“So,” Mr. Miller said, “you have this weird situation right now where you have above-average inventory, but people are fighting over the ones that are priced correctly.”

By Vivian S. Toy, Nov. 15, 2009 NYT

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