The 2009 Manhattan real estate market ended on a better note than it began, according to fourth-quarter reports that were to be released Tuesday by the city’s largest brokerages.The improvements in the market that began over the summer pushed through to the end of the year. Most reports found that sales increased from the third quarter to the fourth, which helped eat away at the inventory of unsold apartments. Prices, meanwhile, stayed about flat — some of the reports showed slight increases, but most showed small declines.“Considering where we came from, the results this quarter were much better than we could’ve imagined a year ago at this time,” said Jonathan J. Miller, president of the appraisal firm Miller Samuel, who prepares the market report for Prudential Douglas Elliman. ..Dottie Herman, president of Prudential Douglas Elliman, said that in the first half of 2009, apartment sales were low. “People were thinking, If I buy this, will the market go down more?” Ms. Herman said. “You don’t have that any more. People feel the market has pretty much bottomed out.”
By Elizabeth A. Harris, Jan 4, 2010, NYT

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