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REBNY cites new records in first quarter sales report.

Median Per Room Price For Three-Bedroom Co-ops Nears Quarter Million Dollars

Among the three price records set last quarter, the Real Estate Board of New York's (REBNY) first quarter 2000 Manhattan cooperative report reveals that the median price for a three-bedroom cooperative apartment reached $246,563 per room, the highest per room co-op price reported since REBNY began issuing these figures, and a robust 43% increase over last year's mark.

The other records set were the $136,600 median price per room of two-bedroom units in all markets, up 21% from 1999' s first quarter; and the East Side pre-war co-op median price per room of $164,786, a 37% increase over the prior year's comparable mark.

"The enduring strength of Manhattan's co-op market is a vivid marker of our city's prosperity" said REBNY executive vice president Deborah B. Beck. "New price records, transactions consummated in less time, and rising sales volumes all attest to the high value of apartments in our survey areas " she noted.

The median price per room for studio and one-bedroom apartments of $83,000 was just shy of last quarter's record mark of $85,000, but topped last year's comparable figure by 20%. While sales volumes increased for four-bedroom units, there were too few transactions to provide a meaningful statistical analysis in this category.

The following are additional price highlights mentioned in the report:

.East Side post-war units registered a median price of $103,000 per room in the first quarter, 29% higher than last year, but short of the record $105,556 set last quarter.

.The West Side pre-war co-op median price per room was $111,875 -- lower than last quarter's record although 9% above 1999's comparable figure.

.The West Side post-war co-op median price per room climbed to $94,875 from $80,000 over the past 12 months, a 19% increase.

As prices rose sharply throughout the co-op market, sales traffic increased markedly after two consecutive quarters of decline, noted Hall Willkie, executive vice president of Brown, Harris, Stevens, and chairperson of REBNY's residential research committee. There were 30% more sales consummated during the first three months of the year than during last year's first quarter, he reported.

Studio and one-bedroom units accounted for more than half of all reported sales. The most popular price range for those transactions. was between $100,000 and $200,000, Mr. Willkie said. Also, while sales prices in the East Side pre-war market were equally distributed among three price ranges in the first quarter, the favored post-war sale price range was $200,000-to-$300,000, up from last year's $100,000- to-$200,000 range.

On the West Side, the most common price range for the sales of pre-war coops was $200,000-to-$300,000, the same as in 1999's first quarter. The most frequently recorded prices for West Side sales of post-war apartments were in the $100,000-to-$200,000 range, as was the case in 1999.

Transaction time declined across all markets and price categories, another sign of the market's strength. Overall median transaction time fell 8% from 5.2 months in the first quarter of 1999 to 4.8 months over the first quarter of 2000. Studio and one-bedroom sales closed with the greatest speed, taking a median 4.4 months -- a 14% improvement over last year's first quarter pace. Sales of two-bedroom units also closed faster -- their median transaction time dropped from 5.3 months to 5 months.

Other closing data showed that sales of East Side co-ops of both pre- and post-war vintages closed faster than in previous year's first quarter. Pre-war units' median transaction time went from 5.7 months to 5.1 months; post-war units median transaction time declined from 5.4 months to 5 months. Median transaction time dropped from 4.9 months to 4.5 months for all West Side pre-war units; for post-war apartments, the figure eased from 4.5 to 4.2 months.
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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 30, 2000
Words:657
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