One might be excused for thinking that all Manhattan condominium buyers are in a state of panic at the moment, thrashing around for any reason to back out of contracts already signed for apartments in the new glass towers dotting the skyline. After all, co-op sales have dried up, and preliminary figures show that average co-op prices are off 28 percent so far this year from the record prices in the first quarter of 2008…Yet last month …average condo prices are up sharply from those of last summer and fall.Many buyers stood by commitments, made in better economic times, to buy new apartments in expensive condominiums that are just now being completed. ..The prices on the new apartments that have actually closed so far in 2009 were so high (including a $30 million glass-walled two-story box built atop a converted industrial building on Hudson Street in SoHo, and a $15 million triplex in a condo conversion at 101st Street and Fifth Avenue) that they drove both the average and median condominium prices to near-record levels, far above the prices in the last half of 2008. But the higher average prices, might, perversely, represent some bad news.
By Josh Barbanel, March 15, 2009, NYT

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