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Rethinking Those Rushed Pre-Fiscal Cliff Apartment Sales

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At the end of 2012, many sellers rushed to offload their multi-million dollar apartments before the fiscal cliff hit; everyone want their deals to be done before taxes increased. But now that a few months have past, the Journal reports that real estate experts are looking back at the record number of sales and thinking that many people probably shortchanged themselves. December saw 156 deals for apartments priced at $4 million or more, which is the highest total ever for such transactions. Even sales at the lower end of the market boomed, making December 2012 the third highest month for Manhattan apartment sales since 2007.

This lead to the lowest level of inventory in 12 years, and the sales activity carried over to 2013. But since inventory dropped, prices are rising, and some brokers are questioning whether or not they should have waited. Douglas Elliman broker Lisa Simonsen sold her apartment for $1.25M in December. She had originally listed it for $1.6M, then cut the price to $1.295M. But in order to get the deal done before the fiscal cliff, the price she finally sold for was even lower. Now she believes the market is "on fire" and she's "not sure [she] gave [herself] the right advice." Hindsight is 20/20, right?
· Rush to Sell Apartments May Backfire [WSJ]
· Rush to Close Million Dollar Deals as 'Fiscal Cliff' Approaches [Curbed]
· Q4 Sees Most Fourth Quarter Manhattan Sales in 25 Years [Curbed]