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Tracking the Astronomical Rise in Manhattan Median Prices Since 2010

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Sometimes a chart makes this kind of stuff more clear

This week, real estate appraiser, Curbed graph guru, blogger, and Housing Notes newsletter writer Jonathan Miller looks at how Manhattan median prices have changed since 2010, using quintiles. (oooh!)

For this week’s chart I delved into the world of quintiles and lived to tell about it. I took all the sales for each quarter and divided them into five equal parts from lowest to highest price over the past six years. Within each quintile I calculated a median sales price and trended it, so the trend lines for each quintile were converted into indices so they could be compared side by side. Phew.

Here’s what it showed:

2010–2012: Price trends varied by season but all quintiles showed a similar pattern, straddling a stable price trend.

2013–2016: Price trends rose sharply with the lowest quintiles showing the most growth. Overbuilding and aspirational pricing at the top was in contrast with lower inventory in the entry level.

The key takeaway? The higher the price point, the slower the price growth (and conversely, the lower the price point, the faster the price growth).

I’ve been characterizing the market being "soft at the top" for more than a year now and I think this is a simple way to illustrate it.