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Three Cents Worth: Manhattan Gets Homogenized

[This week, graphic artist Jonathan Miller gets around, analyzing 10 years of market data across the four corners of Manhattan. The full rundown below. Click on the image to expand.]

After a long weekend of visiting, cooking and eating (and, as always, a little number crunching), I thought it would be fun to recap the past 10 years in Manhattan real estate before everyone is inundated with fresh Q2 2006 data later this week by yours truly.

I broke out the Manhattan co-op and condo markets by the often-used four geographic regions: East Side, West Side, Downtown and Uptown and plotted the percent change in the price per square foot over the prior year quarter from 1996 through 2006. Of course, you can drill down to more specific areas and build your own table to chart.

After the jump, the most volatile zone and how the East Side lost its lead.

Needless to say, the chart shows price movement in all areas of Manhattan and most of it is quite pronounced. The most volatile, in terms of price appreciation, was the Uptown market. This volatility was due to its much smaller data set (less than 5% of all Manhattan sales in a typical quarter) and a much lower starting price point (just about half the average price per square foot of the other 3 market areas).

The East Side, which is the most mature (developed), had long been the price leader of the 4 market areas. However, the West Side market saw sharp gains at the beginning of the recent housing boom in the mid-1990s with the introduction of a high density of luxury condos in the Lincoln Center area that were readily absorbed. At the same time, the downtown markets benefited from a concentration of loft development peaking by the new millennium. By this time, the West Side and the Downtown markets had reached price per square foot parity with the East Side, the long time residential price stalwart of Manhattan.

Over the past five years, aside from the Uptown market, the remaining 3 market areas saw generally similar price gains on a percentage basis consistent with the homogenization of their neighborhood pricing.
· Manhattan Price Per Square Foot by Area [Miller Samuel]