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Manhattan Real Estate Market Not Joining the Pity Party

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Yesterday's bad news about nationwide home sales touched off plenty of panic, but should New York City sellers assume the crash position? The Wall Street Journal's Josh Barbanel puts a local spin on the latest market data today, and writes that the expiration of federal tax credits for home buyers did affect sales figures "in other parts of the city and across the region." But in Manhattan, where people pick their teeth with $8,000 tax credits, the market is chugging along following its 2009 hibernation. For evidence, Barbanel notes an increase in bidding wars and the news that HGTV has renewed Selling New York for two more seasons! Oh, and he also cites actual numbers and stuff.

The quarter is still young but a review of the records finds that median prices are up 14% from last quarter and 16% over last year. More sales are happening, and inventory is tightening up. Good news for the typically slow summer season, but optimism in the broker community is cautious. Buyers may bet that prices are headed down if the bad national news continues, and the Manhattan market could freeze up again. Superbroker Dolly Lenz even tells the Journal, "You can feel the mood and it is not a good mood." Hopefully the city's pharmacies are stocked up on Xanax for fall.
· Manhattan Gains as Housing Stalls [WSJ]