What slowdown? In yesterday's Times, Josh Barbanel crunched some May numbers, and he reports that the median and average apartment price have edged up yet again, to a new record of $1.54 million. And before 500 commenters scream bloody murder about 15 Central Park West and the Plaza inflating the numbers, please note that Barbanel excluded the two big-ticket developments from the calculations. The number of sales, Barbanel reports, was higher than in any month since August 2007, and the 52 documented sales of $4 million or more was the highest ever. Yeesh, can anything stop the Manhattan market? Maybe. Many brokers still say that market uncertainty has clients on the fence, and the number of sales closed in May was down 20% from last year, but still above the volume of May 2006. Barbanel points to price cuts on resales at 40 Bond and the Time Warner Center as a potential weakening of the trophy property market. But c'mon, those prices are only down because all of those potential buyers are tripping over themselves trying to buy into 15 Central Park West. Once 15 CPW tops out at an average of eighty bazillion dollars per square foot, they'll head back to the also-rans.
· A Mixed Picture [NYT]