Numbers unveiled recently by Miller Samuel for the third quarter Manhattan co-op and condo market paint a mixed picture: the median sales for re-sales rose 3.4 percent, to $750,000, and is the first quarter increase in over a year–but that remains 8 percent lower than the prior-year quarter’s median of $815,000. New development sales rose to $1,150,000, or 7.5 percent higher than the second quarter, and are actually 1.3 percent higher than prior-year quarter’s $1,135,000; however, as percent of market share, new sales now only account for 22.2 percent, the lowest in two years, causing overall median price to be $850,000, just 1.7 percent higher than the second quarter, and 8.4 percent lower than prior-year quarter. The average sales price rose 0.8 percent from the second quarter, which is 10.6 percent lower than the prior-year quarter. More troublesome is the average price per square foot: at $996, it is 5.7 percent lower than the second quarter, and 16.5 percent lower than the prior-year quarter. This is the first time price per square foot is below $1,000 since the fourth quarter of 2006.

Some sales overall rose a whopping 45.6 percent, to 2,230, compared to 1,532 in the second quarter, significantly higher than seasonal trends–but that is still 16 percent less than prior-year quarter’s. Due to the increases in sales, inventory fell to 8,389 units, or 10.5 percent lower than the second quarter, and is 4.6 percent lower than the prior-year quarter. The surge can be attributed to the $8,000 first-time home-buyer credit, low mortgage rates, and increased confidence from the 24-percent rise on the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the past six months–but the rising unemployment, continued layoffs in the finance industry, the expiration of the buyer credit at the end of November, and restrictive mortgage practices signify that it’s not yet time to celebrate. To drive the point home, there’s one more stat to take into account: Days on the market rose slightly compared to the second quarter, from 162 to 167. Bu that is almost 25 percent longer than the 134 days on the market in the prior-year quarter.

In the co-op market, the median sales price was $630,000, 2.9 percent lower than the second quarter, and 8.4 percent lower than the prior-year quarter. Average sales were $1,005,744–5.9 percent lower than the second quarter, and 13.4 percent down from the prior-year quarter. Per square foot, the $866 is 5.6 percent less than the second quarter, and 18 percent lower than the $1,056 in the prior-year quarter. It’s the first time the indicator is below $900 in 10 consecutive quarters. By region, the east side remains highest, at $916 per square foot, but 19.8 percent lower than the prior-year quarter. Downtown was $847, down 18.3 percent; west side was $867, down 18.8 percent; and uptown was $594, down 13 percent.

Co-op sales surged 36.7 percent from second to third quarter, to 995, and were significantly better than the 414 sales in the first quarter of 2009, the lowest since 1995 – but these quarter sales are still 26.2 percent below the prior-year quarter. Listing inventory, at 3,840 units at the end of this quarter, was 9 percent below the prior year quarter, and 12.7 percent below second quarter ’09. Days on the market were 134, a week less than the 141 days in the second quarter, and only slightly higher than the 126 days in the prior year quarter. But listing discount is now at 12.5 percent, compared to 8.7 percent in the second quarter and 3 percent in the prior-year quarter.

In the condo market, the median sales price of $1,015,124 is 1.6 percent higher than the second quarter but is down 16.8 percent from the prior-year quarter. The average sales prices were $1,579,438–3 percent higher than the second quarter, but 12.7 percent lower than the prior-year quarter. Per square foot, however, $1,101 is lower both compared to the second quarter and for the prior year quarter, by 6.8 and 17.5 percent, respectively. The larger declines occurred in the higher-end units, resulting in an increase of market share in 3-bedroom apartments from 5 to 15 percent year over year.

Not accounting for units ready for sale but not yet listed, inventory fell 0.6 percent compared to last year–but, at 4,549 units, is 8.6 percent lower than second quarter this year. Sales rose sharply from the second quarter, from 804 to 1,235 units in re-sale and new developments, or 53.6 percent higher. That is still 5.4 percent below the 1,306 units sold in the prior-year quarter. Days on the market continue to rise, to 194 days, or above six months, compared to 181 days and 143 days in the second quarter and this period last year, respectively. Split up; the days-on-market numbers reveal more: Re-sales stayed on the market 133 days, similar to the 134 days on the market for condos.

But new developments were on the market an average of 293 days (excluding shadow inventory)–significantly higher than the 192 days in the prior year quarter, reflective of the continued turbulence in new development underwriting in the city. The report further cautions that the “shadow inventory” is estimated to be larger than the current total of both re-sale and new development listings.

In the luxury market, trends were similar to the overall market, with double-digit declines compared to last year and mixed results compared to the second quarter. The median sales price was $3,905,000, 6.7 percent higher than the second quarter and 2.9 percent down from last year. It’s the second-lowest level in two years. The average sales price was $4,881,561–2.6 percent higher than the second quarter, and 15.7 percent below last year’s. Per square foot, however, the $1,655 price is lower than both the second quarter and the prior year quarter, by 10.4 and 20.2 percent, respectively.

Luxury inventory has declined 12.4 percent from the second quarter to 1,616 units, which is 0.6 percent lower than the prior-year quarter. New developments are taking a larger share of the luxury market–39.9 percent compared to the 32.6 percent in the prior year quarter, while new development inventory overall has dropped from 30.6 to 25.7 percent in the same period. Days on the market for luxury listings is now 181 days, or two months longer that in the prior year quarter, and one day less than the second quarter. The listing discount was 4.1 percent, compared to 8.6 percent in the second quarter, but just 2.9 percent in the prior-year quarter.

The loft market saw declines across the board: median sales price was $1,500,000, 19.5 percent lower than the second quarter, and 21.9 percent lower than prior-year quarter. The average price of $1,778,140 was 8.5 and 19.6 percent lower compared to the second quarter and prior year quarter, respectively. Per square foot, $1,027 is 14.2 and 19.6 percent down from the second quarter and prior year quarter, respectively. Sales were up 72.2 percent from the second quarter, to 124 lofts, which is 44.9 percent lower than the 225 in the prior-year quarter. Inventory fell to 623 units, 15.5 and 25 percent lower compared to second quarter and prior year quarter, respectively. Days on the market rose from 130 to 137 days compared to last year, but are just one day less than the second quarter. Listing discount rose to 7.7 percent, compared to 7.2 percent in the second quarter, but almost tripled compared to the 2.4 percent last year.

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