The average price of a home throughout New York City increased 12% in the last quarter, according to new numbers from the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY).

Apartments prices – including both condos and co-ops – rose by an even more impressive 21%. In Manhattan, that jump was a truly impressive 29%.

Sales value in Brooklyn and Queens also rose, though only by single digits.

The success of the market is particularly impressive given that the national year-on-year numbers released yesterday were the poorest on record.

Though sales of New York City apartments declined in pace and inventory increased, it was not enough to counterbalance the strength of the luxury market. The luxury market continued to dominate the downward pressure coming from the national economy, with the properties at 15 Central Park West and The Plaza Hotel leading the market upwards for the second quarter straight.

The authors of the report, however, note that even when the sales of the ultra-high-end market are removed from the equation, there is still significant growth in the value of the New York City condo market.

Though real estate markets are some of the most regionalized markets in the world, the disparity between the New York market and the national market is impressive, even by real estate market-specific standards.

Sales have slowed substantially, and inventory has risen, making it plain that growth in value will not hold up at current levels, at least in the short term. The strength of the second quarter numbers, however, cast doubt on claims by some analysts that a long, significant downturn in the market is inevitable.

It seems unlikely that the market won’t be even more significantly affected by the worst national climate for housing since the Great Depression. However, it is questionable that those effects will lead to a reduction in value, as opposed to a temporary decrease in the growth of value and prices.

Notably, the condo market has not suffered from the same type of over-building that has plagued markets like Miami for the past several quarters. The restricted open space the city has to offer, especially on Manhattan, has kept supply limited.

That fact has been evident as the market shook off the layoffs in the financial sector as if it were no big deal – even as the fifth largest bank in the city folded.

While it is clear that further significant financial sector chaos would put that city’s real estate market seriously to the test, it is doubtful that anything short of a collapse of a Lehman Brothers-sized significant banks would fundamentally undermine the nation’s most active real estate market.


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