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Median price for Manhattan condos rose 17% in 2001.

Pre- and postwar Manhattan condominium apart-merits saw a 17% increase in their median price per SF during 2001, according to the Real Estate Board's Annual Condominium and Townhouse Report. The median price per square foot for a prewar unit was up to $590 from 2000's figure of $503 while the postwar median price per SF reached $600 compared with the prior year's $511 mark.

Although the pause in most economic activity immediately following the terrorist assaults had some temporary impact on sales--at least Downtown--the 23% decline in transfers of prewar apartments from 1,399 in 2000 to 1,071 was primarily attributable to the national recession and a continuing scarcity of available units. The vast majority of the year's sales had been consummated by Sept. 11. Transfers of postwar condominiums also dipped, sliding 15% from 3,140 in 2000 to 2,668.

In both categories, buyers registered a preference for larger apartments. The median square footage for a prewar condo purchased in 2001 rose 5% to 1,135 from 2000's figure of 1.081. The median square footage for postwar condos climbed 7% to 877 from 822 a year before.

REBNY executive vice president Deborah B. Beck said, "Such price increases in the face of September's historic tragedy and the year's economic woes prove that Manhattan residential property continues to be an incomparable investment."

Hall Willkie of Brown Harris Stevens and chairperson of REBNY's Residential Research Committee noted that "In every condo sub-market performance, we see demand far surpassing supply, a long-term prospect that will sustain these apartments' high value."

Here are some of the report's other highlights:

* The East Side prewar market was the only one that saw a decline in median price per SF, down 7% to $718 from $770 in 2000. This decrease is partially attributable to an 11% falloff in the average size of such apartments sold.

* The East Side postwar market was the only one that saw more transactions in 2001 than during the previous year, and also posted the largest gain in consideration--23%-- over 2000's figure with a median price per SF of $625. The median size of such apartments sold was up 20% to 1,066 SF.

* West Side prewar units were up 19% in median price per SF, climbing to $594 from 2000's mark of $499. Sales declined by 20%. Most of the decrease came from a falloff in transfers of units larger than 650 SF. All size categories in this market, however, registered price gains.

* West Side postwar price gains appreciated an average of 8% as the median price rose to $611 per SF from $569 in 2000. Sales activity was off 29% from the prior year.

* The Downtown prewar median price per SF was up 20% to $596 from 2000's figure of $497. Amazingly, the terrorists' attack had no lasting effect on prices in this part of town. The median price per SF hit $597 in the fourth quarter, close to the peak of $615 attained six months before. There were 21% fewer sales, however.

* Downtown postwar condominiums also rose in median price per SF, climbing 17% to $554 from the prior year's $472. The number of sales dipped for this sector, too, falling 27% to 642.
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Title Annotation:Manhattan, New York, New York
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 17, 2002
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