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It's More Expensive to Buy In Manhattan Than Ever Before

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If you thought buying in Manhattan was going to get easier anytime soon, we have some bad news for you: Elliman's latest market report is out, and it shows that sales prices in the borough hit an all-time high in the fourth quarter of 2015. And it's not just the median sales price that went up, though that hit its highest point since Elliman began tracking the data in 1989; both the average sales price and average price per square foot broke records, too.

According to Elliman's data, the average home price in Manhattan has reached the unfathomable number of $1,948,221—a 12 percent increase over last quarter, and a 12 percent increase over the same time last year. The median price is up as well, hitting $1,150,000, a number that real-estate expert Jonathan Miller notes hasn't been this high since before the financial crisis of 2008. And the rising costs were felt across the board: the median prices of condos, co-ops, and luxury developments all jumped. Closings are happening faster than ever, with properties remaining on the market for around 82 days (which may seem like a lot, but it's a 20-day decrease from the same time last year).

Other real-estate companies corroborate these astronomically high numbers: Data from Corcoran and Halstead reveals similar average and median sales prices, while Compass's numbers actually put the median sales price at an even higher $1,240,000. (Yeesh.) And per Compass, record-setting sales prices were recorded in four Manhattan neighborhoods: the slightly amorphous "Downtown", the Upper West Side, Midtown East, and Midtown West.

So what's the culprit in all of this? New developments, whose record-breaking average price per square foot is now $2,210, per Elliman (Compass puts the median PPSF at $1,744). There's lower inventory—it rose a measly one percent over the same time last year, and actually decreased ten percent from the third quarter—and more demand, leading to these skyrocketing prices. New developments tend to have fewer apartments (particularly in the luxury category), which means there's less to go around—but demand has remained the same.

So, basically: prices keep rising, and considering all of the big-name, high-price developments expected to hit the market in 2016, that trend is unlikely to reverse anytime soon. Same as it ever was, same as it ever was.
· Q4 Market Reports: Elliman [Official]
· Q4 Market Reports: Halstead [PDF]
· Q4 Market Reports: Corcoran [PDF]
· Market Reports archives [Curbed]