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Surge in Manhattan condo sales reported by REBNY.

Heightened competition among buyers for pre-and post-war Manhattan condominiums produced jumps of 15 and 8 percent respectively in the median price per square foot of these properties during 1997, according to figures published by the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) in its annual Condominium and Townhouse Sales Report.

The quarterly market survey shows that the median sales price for pre-war condos escalated to $312 per square foot at year-end 1997 compared to $271 one year earlier. During the same time period, prices for post-war condos climbed to $327 per square foot from $302 per square foot.

"A thriving local economy and the improved quality of life here continue to sharpen buyer interest in condos and drive apartment prices higher," said REBNY Executive Vice President Deborah Beck, who noted that sales volume in the pre-war market during 1997 surpassed the previous year's total by 24 percent with 883 transactions, while post-war condos saw a 9 percent increase in sales traffic, ending the year with a total of 2,213 transfers.

Hall Willkie, chairman of REBNY's Residential Brokerage Research Committee, observed that pre-war apartments of 1,800 square feet or less posted the biggest gains in price; each category in this group registered increases of more than 16 percent during 1997. In the post-war market, condos in the 1,501 to 1,800 square-foot range climbed 29 percent during the same 12-month period.

Here are some of the most interesting findings in the REBNY study:

East Side: The East Side pre-war market was marked by robust sales activity and a 45 percent spike in prices during 1997. The increase in median price per square foot to $378 is primarily attributable to rising prices for apartments of 1,800 square feet and less. Apartments of 1,001 to 1,500 and 1,501 to 1,800 square feet posted the biggest gains in median price per square foot 61 percent and 64 percent respectively. The median price for post-war condos rose by 9 percent to $379 per square foot as a result of strong buyer interest in apartments of 1,001 square feet and more. Twenty sales in the 2,001 to 2,500 square-foot range at 188 East 76th Street accounted for much of the market's activity.

West Side: Despite a slight drop in sales volume, prices of West Side pre-war condos increased during 1997. The median price per square foot rose 9 percent from $281 in 1996 to $307 at the end of 1997. Smaller units enjoyed the steepest hikes, particularly condos with 650 square feet or less, where the median price per square foot soared 31 percent to $306. Sales at One Central Park West, the Trump International Hotel and Tower, dominated the West Side post-war market in 1997. Of the 101 transfers that occurred during the year, 91 involved consideration of more than $1 million, and the median price per square foot on units sold in the building was $878. The exceptional sales record at this one building pushed the median price per square foot up 24 percent for West Side post-war units, from $305 in 1996 to $377 at year-end 1997.

Midtown: An increase in sales of larger apartments in the Midtown pre-war market lifted the median price per square foot to $300 from $267 in 1996. The median square footage for units sold climbed from 980 to 1.165, unsurprisingly resulting in higher recorded prices. Prices in the Midtown postwar market edged up from $291 to $308 per square foot, but the number of transfers fell by 17. Prices increased for all unit categories for apartments of 1,500 square feet and less, which accounted for 91 percent of transfers in 1997.

Downtown: Sales volume was up by 65 percent in the Downtown pre-war condo market during 1997. This increase is attributable to the 31 sales that took place at 210 Canal Street. The median price per square foot appreciated by 15 percent to $310, as the market remained strong for virtually all size units. Although the median price per square foot in the Downtown post-war market slid from $270 in 1996 to $261 at year-end 1997, two unit size categories reported highly favorable figures. The median price per square foot ascended 40 percent and 10 percent respectively for units in the 651 to 850 and 1,001 to 1,500 square foot range. The number of transfers in this market grew 12 percent, from 276 in 1996 to 309 at year-end 1997.
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Title Annotation:Real Estate Board of New York; Manhattan, New York, NY
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Apr 1, 1998
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