Oh, to be rich and living in Manhattan!
While much of the rest of the world cringes at the ongoing housing crunch (Haute Blog has shown in recent weeks that London and Northern California are other notable exceptions to this dire situation), Manhattanites are enjoying unrivaled success, with the average apartment price reaching $1.4 million for the last quarter of 2007, which equates to a 17.6 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2006.
Though the numbers are a bit skewed (The New York Times is quick to point out that much of the increase is the result of high-end apartments in excess of $10 million selling in Manhattan over the past year, while Curbed points to a Halstead/Brown Harris Stevens report that says the Plazea and 15 Central Park West helped boost prices by several hundred thousand dollars), it is still most definitely good news, as other markets have shown no growth, and in many cases steep decline, in average home price over the past year.
That good news is buttressed by a 3.2-percent jump in apartment sales in the past year, a nearly three weeks’ advantage in terms of how quickly the apartments sold, as well a 13.5-percent decline in the inventory of apartments for sale.
Nonetheless, Elliman’s Dottie Herman offered this sobering prediction for 2008: “I’m not forecasting high appreciation [this year]. I’m forecasting the market will be flat.”