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Three Cents Worth: Manhattan's Manic Square Feet

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[This week, real estate appraiser, Curbed graph guru, and podcaster extraordinaire Jonathan Miller breaks into your apartment armed only with a tape measure.]

One of the more pronounced trends of the past two years - the P.L.E. (Post-Lehman Era) - has been the wild swings in the types of apartments that have sold. Perhaps one of the better ways to view how manic this market has been is to look at total square footage sold. I went back 20 years and took the square footage of Manhattan co-op and condo sales and plotted them (red line) and trended them (gray line).

I've long characterized 2009 as "the year of the first time buyer" (hint: smaller apartments + less sales = less square footage sold). This year was bookended with the high-end of the market waking up in early 2010, and the super-high-end surging at the end of the 2010. The middle of the market came to life in the, well, middle of the year.

I tagged specific peaks and valleys with commentary. The Q4 2005-Q2 2007-Q1 2009 rollercoaster was manic, to say the least.

To insert a little holiday cheer after the 2010 rebound, I averaged co-op/condo square footage of each category over the past four years as a wreath-like inset. The past four years had seemingly offsetting peaks and valleys in total square footage sold.

Will 2011 take its manic medicine and settle down to a continued normal distribution of activity, as we have more or less seen since this past summer? Maybe we should ask Santa.
· Manhattan Co-op/Condo Total Square Footage Sold [20-Year Manic Perspective] [Miller Samuel]
· Three Cents Worth archive [Curbed]