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Three Cents Worth: Getting Their Square Footage Together

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[This week, our graph guru Jonathan Miller takes on the hot topic of shrinkage.]


[Click to expand.]

The average square-footage of a Manhattan co-op/condo apartment in the fourth quarter of 2007 was 1,220 square feet, down 5.7% from the 1,289 square feet average of a decade ago. However, the spread between co-ops and condos has also declined over the same period.

In 4Q 2007, the average size of a co-op apartment was 1,083 square feet and the average size of a condo apartment was 1,336 square feet. Since new development activity is nearly all condo, the co-op housing stock is essentially static. It's a widespread perception that the average size of a Manhattan apartment is rising (probably because prices continue to rise), but that is not the trend.

Condo sizes have fallen more than co-ops since the market peak in 1999-2000. During the dotcom-infused real estate market surge in 1999-2000 (which saw a larger jump in prices than the housing boom peak of 2004-2005), condo sizes grew rapidly. However, this trend was overplayed, and by 2002, the size of condo units began to fall.
· Manhattan Average Co-op/Condo Square Foot Trend [Miller Samuel]