For those dubious that anyone's buying apartments in Manhattan right now, the above graph, fresh off the presses, offers solace. Well, a little solace. Okay, a smidgen o' solace. It's from the CORE Group's latest Real Time Report, which paints a picture of a Manhattan resale market that's still seeing relatively low inventory to accompany the low volume. And check out Gramercy's January deal surge! Per the report, it's "possibly due to lower prices than have historically been seen in that neighborhood." Adorable!
As for the methodology of the CORE report, its claim to fame is that it tracks deals in contract, rather than sold and closed data, thus tracking the market closer to realtime. Not a bad idea. But two caveats that strike us: first, with deals blowing up more often these days in contract (often due to mortgage issues), some percentage of deals said to be closed will end up not closed at all. And second, they're cagey about the source of their data ("gathered from numerous sources"), so we're hard-pressed to think they've got their hands on contract data from every major NYC brokeraeg. One more tiny note: data doesn't include new development deals, just resales.