Manhattan's crazy high rents are doing wonders for apartment sales in the borough. The Wall Street Journal reports that third quarter sales are up 9.3% from last year, the highest they've been since the financial crisis hit in 2008. The market was strong for both lower-priced units and those selling for $1 million to $4 million, with "a deep pool of buyers" competing for apartments. The median Manhattan apartment price is $868,000, up 2.1% from the second quarter, but the average has dropped 5.2% to $1.36 million. The Journal notes that the average price drop is due to the sale of more lower-priced apartments. Sales for units above $4 million were down 13% from last year and flat from last quarter, but the new numbers don't include all of the mega deals that have been recently made at places like One57 since they won't close until next year.
A managing director at Town Residential said she saw more multiple bids on apartments since 2008. One Town broker got eight offers on a renovated Soho loft at 476 Broadway, and it sold for $3.05 million, 5.3% above the asking price. A broker at Prudential Douglas Elliman said that buyers see Manhattan as a "safe haven." They "commonly recognize and believe that real estate will be a secure store of value?a gilded safety deposit box."
· Manhattan Sales Continue to Climb [WSJ]