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Three Cents Worth: Manhattan's 20-Year Housing Cycle

[This week, real estate appraiser, Curbed graph guru, and podcaster extraordinaire Jonathan Miller puts on a flannel and dusts off his Nirvana CD collection.]

There has been a lot of discussion about the "new normal" as of late, which suggests we now face some sort of Huxley-esque brave new world. I think its pretty apparent that the "new normal" is really the old normal, before the 2003-07 credit bubble that made everything "synthetic." We've also had other recent epiphanies, like "housing prices can actually fall," and "you should have the means to pay back what you've borrowed." Ground breaking revelations for sure.

This week I took the Manhattan co-op/condo median sales price (broken down by number of bedrooms) back 20 years, expressed as the year-over-year percent change. I took out 4-bedrooms even though I track them due to their wild volatility caused by the very small market share. More importantly I didn't want to violate Curbed's "too many data points gets on my nerves" protocol.

A few simple observations:

-Seasonality is very pronounced in Manhattan
-Apartment size categories share a general overall trend but have many nuanced differences
-The larger apartments (focus on red 3-bedroom line) see higher peaks and troughs
-We saw 3 years of negativity in the 1990-91 recession 20 years ago.

For everyone who says "this time its different," I am really not sure what that means.
· Three Cents Worth archive [Curbed]