As Manhattan sales drop, prices don’t move much

Hymnal Leaf, Vienna 1742. From Psalterio Antiphonale Romanum De Tempore & Sanctis (flickr photo by WikiMechanics)

When the quarterly results of Manhattan’s housing market are released, you can count on a chorus of brokerage executives to sing from the same hymnal.

Yesterday’s Q4 reports were no exception, and I suppose you can’t really blame presumed experts for painting the statistics in the most vivid colors.

So consistently upbeat is their analysis that I take their comments as more prayerful than perceptive. That’s why I referred to “hymnal” in the first paragraph.

Unlike highly educated — though frequently inaccurate — economists, they seem to base their appraisals of the past and predictions of the future merely on Continue reading

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The Big Apple: Whither our housing market. More!

MAYBE YOU CAN SEE NEW JERSEY FROM A CONDO FACING AUCTION AND MAYBE EVEN RUSSIA

If you head to Edgewater, N.J. Nov. 17, you can start the bidding with $50,000 on a one-bedroom condo in Battery Park City.

Unit 333 at 21 South End Ave. is the only real estate in New York City among numerous other properties in New York State, New Jersey and Pennsylvania to be auctioned by the Williams & Williams company.

The Regatta

Seventeen units in the Regatta are now on the market, including one with a signed contract, at prices ranging from $385,000 for another third-floor unit described as a junior one-bedroom to $2.7 million for a two-bedroom apartment on the sixth floor.

WHITHER THE HOUSING MARKET? IT DEPENDS, SAY VARIOUS PROGNOSTICATORS

When it comes to the housing market, predictions are perilous business, notes the New York Times. A market that looked as if it was verging on a renaissance Continue reading

Finally, a new index tracks condo activity in Manhattan

Thank you, Streeteasy.com, for introducing a Condo Market Index (CMI) for sales in Manhattan. No longer do we have to contend with Case-Shiller’s imperfect index, which covers the entire city and surrounding suburbs while ignoring apartment sales.

In the chart above, the bottom line represents condo sales volume in all of Manhattan starting in January 1995. Click to expand and to link to a detailed table of prices by the downtown, midtown, Upper West Side and Upper East Side neighborhoods.

Unfortunately, the property-search Web site does not provide Continue reading

Comparing sales just got harder, in a way

Six of one and . . . (Flickr photo by theilr)

Starting March 12, the city changed the way it displays property records in its online database, the Automated City Register Information System, or ACRIS.  The modification was little noticed until the Real Deal ran a piece on its Web site the other day.

For example, as the publication observed, the closed sale price of a unit at 10 West 66th St. that had shown a recorded sale price of $1 million jumped to $1.75 million. A studio at 61 Jane St. had a price tag of $87,900 when the deal closed in 2009, then $439,500 after the change in ACRIS, from which StreetEasy.com and PropertyShark.com draw data.

The change is meant to reflect virtually everything a buyer expends to purchase a co-op, Continue reading