Friday, July 3, 2009

New York Real Estate News

Manhattan apartment sales down 50%
CNN's report started by saying the real estate bust has finally "clobbered super-pricey Manhattan home prices." Second quarter market reports released by the city's major brokerages show sales volume declined 50% compared to a year ago. Miller Samuel reports average price per square foot at $1,056, representing a 16% decline compared to last year. The median price of an apartment is now $836,000. Upside is that sales activity increased compared to the first quarter. This is driven by sales of studio and one bedroom apartments, both of which gained market share. A higher conforming loan limit of $729,750 and historically low rates helped as well.

Luxury market dives
The luxury market in Manhattan, defined as the top 10 percent of apartment sales, slummed. Compared to last year, average price per square foot declined 19% while number of sales declined 50% . Median price of a luxury apartment is now $3.66 million, down from $6.59 million in the first quarter. Currently it takes half a year to sell a luxury apartment.

Renters getting scammed while seeking a deal
While renters are seeking better deals from this down market, scammers are stealing from them. One such scam is called cash-for-key where the scammer takes photos of a legitimate rental and reposts it at a much lower price. The scammer then requires cash from eager renters in exchange for application form or keys. Sometimes, the scammer just takes application fees from multiple potential renters, all too eager to get the non-existent two bedroom for $1500. Students and out of town renters are particularly vulnerable.

Manhattan Rents
Rents in May 2009 are now lower than they were in 2007. Here’s a snapshot of rents at doorman buildings in May 2009 as compiled by the Real Estate Group.
Studios $2,332
1 Bedroom $3,299
2 Bedroom $5,112

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