This week has wrapped up with a bang: following the S&P/Case-Schiller and the National Association of Realtors numbers released earlier Tide Turning, Condition Still Critical on a turnaround in New York house prices, as well as good news about the fall inventory The Fall Inventory: A Possible Return to Normalcy, more reports released today indicate Manhattan home sales rising 46 to 69 percent from second to third quarter, according to data analyzed by the Associated Press.
It seems buyers who sat out the first half of the year were finally emboldened to step in: sellers got 95 percent of their asking price in the third quarter, from 93 percent in the second quarter, according to Brown Harris Stevens and Halstead Property, and the number of unsold apartments on the market has dropped from a peak in April, according to StreetEasy.com. And while median prices in the third quarter fell 2 percent from the second quarter, ranging from $760,00 to $850,000, or down between 8 and 18 percent from last year, Prudential Douglas Elliman reported a 2 percent increase in the third quarter.
Analysts still caution against celebrating a bottom, however: 6,000 condos are ready to go on sale by developers wrapping up projects started during the boom, and the Nov. 30 expiration of the $8,000 first-time home-buyers credit will likely cool the buying spree, despite over a dozen bills introduced in Congress in an effort to extend the credit in some shape. Nonetheless, this should be a weekend to breathe a sigh of relief for the trampled but resilient New York real estate industry.