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Three Cents Worth: The Up in Manhattan Uptown Sales

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[This week, real estate appraiser, Curbed graph guru, blogger, and podcaster Jonathan Miller glows with excitement over Northern Manhattan.]

After last week's semi-heady four-bedroom/studio ratio thing, I thought I'd go a bit lighter as summer is nearly over and we all need a break. Admittedly it's been bedlam in appraiserville this month (translation: we're seeing a lot of sales activity for August?more on that soon).

With all the talk about the high end market, there hasn't been much discussion about Northern Manhattan (aka Uptown) lately so I thought I'd drill down a bit.

I broke out Manhattan sales over the past four years (just before the Lehman tipping point) into the four regions: Downtown [blue line], East Side [red line], West Side [green line] and Uptown [pink line] by their year-over-year percent change.

As it turns out, all four Manhattan regions ebbed and flowed with very similar patterns...until now. I've long maintained that because the national housing downturn was primarily due to problems with credit availability, I paid short shrift to regional changes in the Manhattan market since they were all influenced by the same problem. This chart shows I was probably right but now it's not clear whether this pattern will continue.

The four-region spike in sales during the first half of 2010 is not indicative of heavy sales volume at that time, rather it is representative of how bad things were a year earlier and how quickly sales snapped back to the levels we are still seeing.

Uptown jumped quite a bit this spring. Year-over-year sales for the region jumped 68.4 percent. Of course I realize that Uptown (North of West 116th Street, Central Park and East 96th Street) is the smallest of all the regions but there were 266 sales in 2Q 12, plenty enough for analysis. It takes more than a single quarter jump to pronounce a trend but it certainly gives us something to watch now that the Olympics are over.
· Matrix [matrix.millersamuel.com]
· Three Cents Worth archive [Curbed]