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Market Reports: Manhattan Sales Up, But Don't Get Too Excited

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We know it's early in the morning, so we'll begin our roundup of the second quarter Manhattan market reports from the major brokerages?Elliman, Corcoran, Brown Harris Stevens, and Halstead?and StreetEasy with the biggest shocker from the data: by all accounts, the number of recorded sales went up by as much as 81 percent between second-quarter '09 and this year's Q2. Awake now? Good! But market oracle and Elliman report preparer Jonathan Miller has warned us not to overhype this quarter's results, so now the slightly more sobering context to go with that statistic.

Much like the first quarter reports, the second quarter numbers look rosy only because last year's stats were so very bad. The number of sales for this past quarter (typically the year's busiest), which Elliman's report places at 2,756, is merely back to normal, in line with average second quarter sales numbers for the past 10 years.
Median prices (which Elliman places at $899,000) went up from the first quarter and by 7.6 percent year-over-year. Average sales prices are also up by about 9 percent, and listings aren't languishing on the market quite as long before selling. But again JMillz talks us down from our excitement: prices appear to be up because the average size of sold units increased, with sales of 3BRs spiking in particular. On a per square foot basis, prices have been virtually flat. The same is true for inventory (although listings in the luxury market, which Elliman defines as those in the top 10 percent in terms of price, did drop a sharp 13.2 percent since Q1 and 29.3 percent year-over-year).

So is the second quarter's burst of activity the burn that will get the Manhattan market back into Earth's atmosphere? Or are we still stuck in outer space? Commenters, the lines are now open for your thoughts and predictions.
· Market Reports [Elliman]
· Second Quarter Report [Corcoran] (Warning: PDF)
· Market Reports [BHS]
· Market Reports [Halstead]
· Q2 Manhattan Market Report [StreetEasy] (Warning: PDF)

Here's a roundup of the report coverage so far:
· In Manhattan, Apartment Sales Rose But Prices Were Flat [NYT]
· Manhattan Apartment Market Healing [WSJ]
· Manhattan home sales up, prices flat [Real Deal]
· Snapping up luxe co-ops [NYP]
· Manhattan apartment prices stabilize [Crain's]