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Market for Manhattan apartments remained strong in 2006 despite national dip, analysts say

Market for Manhattan apartments remained strong in 2006 despite national dip, analysts say

While home prices plunged elsewhere in the United States last year, Manhattan's real estate market was spared a fire-sale decline in the last three months of 2006, new reports show.
The average price of a Manhattan apartment rose to more than $1.14 million (euro860,000) in the fourth quarter of last year, up 5 percent compared with the same period the year before, according to two reports released Wednesday.
The median price for the apartments was a record $760,000 (euro573,000), beating the figure from 2005 by 9 percent, said the reports. The median, a common real-estate market measure, is the price at which half the sales are higher and half are lower.
With solid job growth in the city, a healthy economy and low interest rates, prices are unlikely to soften in 2007, said Greg Heym, who authored the reports for Manhattan real estate firms Brown Harris Stevens and Halstead Property.
"It looks like demand will remain pretty strong," said Heym, the chief economist for Terra Holdings, which owns both firms. He added that record Wall Street bonuses, expected to top nearly $24 billion (euro18 billion), also should buoy the housing market.
Heym, who also serves on the city's Economic Advisory Panel, said Manhattan is experiencing a more balanced market, meaning that price increases have become more sustainable _ unlike in 2004, when double-digit gains were common.
One of the biggest price surges in Manhattan took place on the Upper West Side, where four-bedroom and larger apartments cost an average of $5.7 million (euro4.3 million), or a 48 percent increase over the fourth quarter from 2005.
The average price per square foot in Manhattan rose to a new high of $1,050, or euro8,800 per square meter.
"The market for luxury apartments in Manhattan remains very strong, and we're continuing to see steady growth in this sector," said Hall F. Willkie, president of Brown Harris Stevens.
Both reports were based on 2,364 reported sales.


Updated : 2021-10-16 04:28 GMT+08:00