4Q 2009 Manhattan Real Estate Market Reports Confuse…Again

No surprise that reading the "Big 3" Manhattan real estate market reports for Q4 2009 is giving many, including me, a headache.

Check them out for yourself:

  1. Elliman
  2. Corcoran
  3. Halstead

All 3 of these firms have done an excellent job of comprising and interpreting data but which data set is accurate?  And why are the data sets so different in a market that has made information much more transparent?  And lastly, but perhaps most importantly, what does this mean for you the buyer or seller?

I’m not even going to attempt to answer the first 2 questions because I have been asking them for years.  But question  number 3 is near and dear to my heart as many know that I am NOT a fan of averages or generalizations particularly when it comes to hyper local housing market(s).

The best advice that I can give to all of those out there trying to make sense of these numbers is to be very careful not to strictly apply increases or decreases in median or average prices to any specific home that you are selling or buying.  Use these numbers as VERY loose guidelines that basically indicate a few things:  

  1. Inventory is down
  2. Prices are down
  3. Sales activity is up

That’s about all you can take away here.  And Happy New Year everyone!!!

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