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Three Cents Worth: Manhattan Inventory Trends in Slo-Mo

[This week, real estate appraiser, Curbed graph guru, blogger, and podcaster Jonathan Miller gets animated while talking about the last nine years.]

I've always been a fan of tedium and repetition so I thought it would be fun to create a month by month nine-year window on the co-op inventory trends. Why not 10-years? Didn't have enough time to finish up that 10th year by this morning without the incurring wrath of Curbed editors on a deadline. However I snuck in the last year in the 10 year chart at the end of the animation.

A few observations:

· I always marvel at the ebb and flow of housing market metrics. There is a lot more up and down movement than we give credit for and it reinforces the argument that reliance on month-over-month trends is sketchy in any market.

· Up until the summer of 2006, condo inventory was significantly smaller than co-op inventory. Ironically the national housing market also peaked in the summer of 2006. During 2003-2006 condo development was in a frenzy but wasn't yet available to the market at the same pace. As the product entered the market en masse circa 2005-2006, condo inventory finally exceeded co-op inventory. Co-ops are basically a fixed form of housing stock with new supply coming online primarily as condo.

· After Lehman's collapse in 9/08, condo inventory continued to enter the market as overall sales fell sharply. However by the end of 2010, condos returned to their historic place below the co-op market reflecting the point where condo shadow was beginning to be absorbed by adjusted pricing or repurposed to another use.

· Inventory levels are currently at their lowest point in more than five years but are not at record lows. The large volume of condos that entered the housing stock during the recent housing boom makes it unlikely that condo supply would fall to levels seen a decade ago, but co-ops may very well hit a record low in the coming months if declining trends continue.
· Matrix [matrix.millersamuel.com]
· Three Cents Worth archive [Curbed]