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Manhattan Market Approaches a New Kind of Normal

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No one actually knows what normal is these days when it comes to the Manhattan sales market, but based on today's fresh crop of quarterly market reports, we're going to float the theory that the market has found it. Let's run through the stats, shall we? The median sales price was $911,333, down a fraction of a percent from last year and up 7.2 percent from last quarter. The number of sales over $5 million rose 16 percent year-over-year, according to the Brown Harris Stevens report. The market share of sales over $1 million was at its second highest since the start of the credit crunch. This all spells a return to stability in real estate pricing.

A few of the stats in the quarter's Elliman report are a little jumpier, however. The number of sales spiked 16.7 percent from this time last year (and 17.2 percent from last quarter). Listing inventory fell 4.9 percent from last year's third quarter. We turned to Curbed graph guru Jonathan Miller, who kindly took a break from making snow to share his knowledge.

The increase in sales is due largely to foreign buyers, who've taken advantage of the weak U.S. dollar to snap up condos, especially in new development properties. For entry-level apartments?studios and 1BRs?falling mortgage rates have helped, too.

The drop in listing inventory is, JMillz tells us, a combination of steady demand and the fact that people who purchased apartments at the market peak haven't wanted to re-list until prices improve. The inventory level now is lower than the five-year quarterly average and higher than the 10-year quarterly average, "so it's basically in the middle of historical norms," JMillz sez. See: normal!
· Market Reports [Elliman]
· Market Reports [Halstead]
· Market Reports [BHS]
· Market Reports [StreetEasy]
· Market Report coverage [Curbed]