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Manhattan Sales Soar During Spring Bounce, But What's Next?

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The end of the busy spring selling season happens to coincide with July 4th weekend, meaning that when the major brokerages unleash their second-quarter sales reports next week, everyone will be too sunburned and stuffed with wieners to care. Luckily there's the WSJ's Josh Barbanel, who dug through New York City Department of Finance records (God bless him) to calculate the early returns. Every broker in town has been talking up the surge in Manhattan market activity (though there's debate about how green those shoots really are), but what do the cold hard facts say? Encouraging things, mostly!

By the spring of 2009, the Manhattan market looked a bit better than the disastrous first quarter, but the credit crunch still made for some miserable stats. So it's no surprise that Q2 2010 isn't as grim, but the 80% increase in sales over the past year is still eye-popping. Yay, brokers are busy again! But what about prices? Only a "modest recovery," Barbanel writes, though that's better than more declines. The market, it appears, has found its footing. Now on to the bad news for the biz: the sales figures are still down more than 25% from 2007, and the post-spring market will really be the true test of the recovery, with bad national economic news playing an important factor. But for now, enjoy the fireworks!
· Apartment Sales Up in Manhattan [WSJ]