Manhattan Is Indeed an Island

Christine Haughney of The New York Times reminds us that Manhattan is an entity unto itself…in more ways than one.  In this particular circumstance, we’re talking about housing and how our local Manhattan housing market continues to buck the downward trend of markets across the country…for now.

Four reports issued yesterday by the city’s major residential real estate brokerage firms showed that apartments closing in Manhattan in July, August and September sold for the highest average sale price ever and that the inventory of homes for sale declined over all.

On average, buyers spent $1.37 million for a Manhattan apartment, a 6.3 percent increase from the corresponding period last year, according to one report, by Prudential Douglas Elliman. The number of apartments on the market fell by nearly a third, to 5,204, in the last quarter, compared with 7,623 a year earlier, the report said.

As many of the transactions included in these reports took place in the weeks prior to the credit crisis, it will be interesting to see how the last quarter of 2007 ends up.  As of right now, inventory is remaining tight, interest rates are low, and buyers are still "interested" in buying.  It seems as though tight inventory and reasonable mortgage rates will continue to be the story going forward.  The big question that remains is just what will happen to Wall Street?  Layoffs…yep.  How many?  Who knows?  Bonuses…some lean…some not.  A lot will be determined in the next couple of weeks when Wall Street finds out what they will get paid and whether they have a job.  This news could drastically effect both the buying pool and inventory in the coming months.

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