Dec

6

Manhattan Apartment Prices Jump 6% in Third Quarter

Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) — There’s no housing slump in Manhattan, according to a survey from the Real Estate Board of New York. The median price of an apartment in the most expensive urban real estate market in the U.S. rose 6 percent in the third quarter to $767,000, the board said in a statement. The East Side led the way with the highest median price per square foot. Manhattan prices rose even as they declined in rest of the country. Nationwide, the median price of a previously owned home fell 3.5 percent in October to $221,000, the biggest year-over- year decline on record, according to the National Association of Realtors, the largest industry trade group. Today’s New York figures contradict an October report by Miller Samuel Inc., the borough’s largest appraiser. Its data showed median prices fell 4 percent to $845,147 for the quarter. The real estate board’s numbers are compiled from a confidential survey of brokers and from public records. The board represents commercial and residential landlords in the city.

The neighborhood with the highest median price per square foot was the East Side, where it was $1,100, a 9 percent increase. The West Side came in second at $1,050 per square foot. There may be no end to rising New York prices thanks to low unemployment, low crime rates and rising population, said Michael Slattery, senior vice president of the real estate board, in an interview. “There’s no area where new investment is not likely to occur.” New York’s crime rate plunged 71 percent since 1993, according to police department data. Manhattan’s population rose 1.8 percent to 1.6 million from 2000 to 2003, the U.S. Census Bureau reported. Real estate prices are strong throughout the city. Median prices for East Side condominiums soared 45 percent to $1.35 million. First-time buyers seeking a toe-hold in the surging New York market pushed the median price in northern Manhattan neighborhoods to $558,000, a 60 percent spike, the board said. Northern Manhattan includes areas such as Washington Heights and Inwood.

“What they are getting up there may be a larger apartment for less money,” Slattery said. “They are willing to be pioneers in an emerging neighborhood.” The median cost of East Side co-ops rose 13 percent to $856,000 and downtown the number jumped 20 percent to $662,000. Two-thirds of the Manhattan market is made up of co- operative apartments, where tenants own shares in a corporation that owns the building. Residents of those properties elect board members who vet the finances and personal circumstances of applicants before they can buy a unit. By contrast, condominium residents own their apartments rather than shares. New York co-op boards twice rejected former U.S. President Richard M. Nixon in 1979 because of concerns about having Secret Service agents in the lobby, according to Steven Gaines, author of “The Sky’s the Limit: Passion and Property in Manhattan”

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