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Three Cents Worth: Concentrating on a Relationship

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[This week, podcaster?we especially enjoy this week's topic?and Curbed graph guru Jonathan Miller connects the dots on apartment sizes and their cost by the foot.]

This week I took a break from trends and measured the relationship between room count and price-per-square-foot. Manhattan is one of the few housing markets I am aware of with a rising PPSF along with larger apartment sizes. It's been that way at least since I began appraising here in 1986, and stayed that way through the last serious downturn in the early 1990s.

In the past few years we began to see a lot of upward skew in the entry-level market. In some neighborhoods studios were starting to see a higher price-per-square-foot (not sales price) than one-bedrooms. In other words, the sales price for some studio apartments wouldn't fall below a certain threshold, no matter how small the apartment. We saw the same thing with small townhouses (less than 2,500 square feet) downtown.

This chart simply plots all the co-op/condo sales in the first quarter of 2009 by number of rooms and price-per-square-foot. The red dots represent every sale in the quarter, which as you can see leads to a lot of overlap. There is significant concentration in the $500 PPSF to $1,500 PPSF range, and the two-room and five-room range. The blue trend line shows a general rise in price-per-square-foot with larger apartments?the same relationship we saw 20+ years ago.
· Manhattan Co-op/Condo Price per Sq Ft, Rooms 1Q 09, 1,195 Sales [Miller Samuel]
· Previous Three Cents Worth [Curbed]