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Pay No Attention to That January Manhattan Sales Drop

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If the 2010 Manhattan market was something of a party overall, 2011 started with the real estate world nursing a hangover. According to the Journal's latest analysis of closings filed with the Department of Finance, sales dropped by almost one-third in January compared to December and were 30 percent below the January 2010 numbers. So does all this mean doom for the Manhattan market?

Actually, maybe not! Brokers tell the Journal the drop in January numbers had more to do with a rush to close deals by the end of the year out of fear that tax cuts would expire. Now, thanks to warmer weather, Wall Street bonuses, and stock market improvements, contract signings are on the uptick again, with 870 contracts getting signatures in the 30 day period that ended Friday. (Only 647 contracts were signed in January.) The apartments seeing most of the action are over $1 million, so in at least one way, the 2010 party is still going.
· Sales Strengthen for Luxury Digs [WSJ]
· Market Reports coverage [Curbed]