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IPFS News Link • New York

Manhattan real estate prices reach record as buying 'frenzy' takes hold

•, Robert Frank

The median resale price for Manhattan apartments hit $999,000 in the second quarter — the highest on record, according to a report from Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel. Average sale prices rose 12% in the quarter, topping $1.9 million.

The price jumps and shrinking inventory suggest the Manhattan real estate rebound continues to gain momentum, as more families look to trade up to larger apartments and buyers look to take advantage of lower prices and low mortgage rates.

"It's a sign of the frenzy and intensity of the market," said Jonathan Miller, CEO of real estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel. "It's rebounding much faster than most participants expected."

There were 3,417 sales in the second quarter — a 150% gain from last year, when many New York residents were leaving the city during the coronavirus pandemic, and Covid restrictions prevented apartments from being shown for much of the quarter. However, the pace was also robust compared with pre-pandemic levels. It was the strongest second quarter since 2007, according to Miller Samuel. Bidding wars were at the highest pace in 2½ years.

The buying spree has led to fewer apartments on the market. Listing inventory fell 27% compared with a year ago, and the supply of homes for sale — at 6.9 months — is now lower than the historical average of about eight to nine months, Miller said.

The strongest growth is at the top of the market — literally. There have been more than 220 penthouses sold in Manhattan so far this year, the strongest on record, according to Corcoran market research. That marks a 35% increase from the 164 penthouse contacts signed for the same period in 2019, before the pandemic.