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Harlem 'Almost Looks Like a Complete Crash'

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According to a PropertyShark market report, 57 new Harlem condos (between 110th and 155th Streets) were sold during the third quarter of 2008, compared to 237 closed deals during last year's Q3?a drop of 76 percent. But despite that staggering drop, condo prices increased three percent. Seem out of whack? It does to PropertyShark CEO Bill Staniford, who predicts bad things ahead for gentrifying Central and East Harlem in this week's Observer. The money quote, literally: "This almost looks like a complete crash; prices are going to have to drop." And indeed, it seems like they already are, but with a bunch of new inventory coming to market over the next few months, how bad will Harlem's market be hurt? Staniford's says a 20 to 25 percent drop is likely, which would put new studio apartments in Harlem routinely in the $300,000 range, a bold prediction the Observer gleefully trumpets in its "Manhattan Inches Toward the $300K Condo" headline. Has the era of the million-dollar studio gone the way of the dinosaur? We were just learning to love it!
· Manhattan Inches Toward the $300K Condo [NYO]