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Luxury Manhattan co-ops dip only 2.3%.

Luxury Manhattan co-ops dip only 2.3%

Following a free fall in prices of over 30 percent in the last two years, prices of luxury Manhattan co-ops and condominiums dipped by only 2.3 percent during the first half of this year, an indication that a gradual turnaround may have already begun. A year ago prices for the same period were down by over 11 percent.

The modest decline, fashioned with the help of a strong second quarter in which prices actually rose by .6 percent citywide, highlighted the mid-year edition of The Corcoran Report, a semi-annual study analyzing conditions and trends in the city's luxury housing field. It is researched and prepared by The Corcoran Group, a New York-based real estate firm specializing in co-op and condominium sales.

According to the report, the Corcoran Room Index showed that the average price-per-room of a luxury Manhattan apartment had dropped from $89,349 at year-end to $87,294 at the end of June, putting the CRI (Corcoran Room Index) for the first six months of 1991 at 2.3 percent.

For the most part, two-bedroom apartments in key uptown and downtown districts led the decline, with six-to seven-and-one-half-room units dropping in price by an average of 4 percent and four to five-and-one-half room units dipping by 3.3 percent. Three-plus bedroom apartments (eight to 14 rooms) fell by 1.8 percent while one-bedroom units (3 to 3.5 rooms) showed only a .4 percent decline.

Unlike last year when depreciation was virtually across-the-board, there are bright spots in the current marketplace. For example, units of two-bedrooms and larger along fashionable Fifth Avenue showed price gains of 4.1 percent to 8 percent during Gramercy and Chelsea were up by an average of 6.7 percent and 6.5 percent respectively.

Downtown lofts held up well. Prices overall dipped by only .8 percent throughout the district while 2,500- to 3,500-square-foot-spaces in Soho/Noho were up 11.9 percent and even larger units (3,500 square feet and up) appreciated by 10.2 percent.

"Prices have definitely leveled off throughout the city in recent months and we're now starting to see values rise in a number of different unit categories," asserted Barbara Corcoran, president of the Corcoran Group.

She attributed the turnaround to a continuing decline in the quantity of new listings coupled with a growing demand for product, especially in the smaller sized categories.

"It's the age old rule of supply and demand," she added, noting that Manhattan sales have been on a steady upswing since the end of the Persian Gulf War.

Indeed, all of the other market indicators contained in the recently released Corcoran Mid-Year Report point toward an improving marketplace: * Buyers were able to negotiate 21.8 percent off the original asking price of their apartments during the first half of this year as compared to 1990 buyers, who were able to negotiate 23.5 percent off the asking price. * 6.1 percent of all the apartments sold for their original asking price as compared to 1990 when only 3.3 percent sold for the original asking price. * The average initial offer made by a buyer during the first six months of 1991 was 26.7 percent below the asking price compared to 29.5 percent a year earlier. * The average listing period for an apartment in 1991 was 27 weeks compared to 30 weeks in 1990, and buyers took less time to make a purchase - 4.2 months this year compared to 5.3 months a year earlier. * At mid-year, 36 percent of all sales involved no financing and the-average cash invested was 60 percent of the purchase price. In 1990, 34 percent of all sales involved no financing and the average cash invested was 58 percent of the purchase price.

The 1991 Corcoran Mid-Year Report, which contains a complete breakdown for 14 luxury residential districts throughout Manhattan, is available to all interested parties at no charge by writing or contacting The Corcoran Group's Midtown office at 645 Madison Avenue.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Hagedorn Publication
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:housing prices
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Aug 21, 1991
Previous Article:Making RE information easy.
Next Article:Construction job measure to be down 8%.

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