Thursday, June 3, 2010

Condo Sales Jump in Manhattan

Manhattan condominium sales continue to pick up momentum, even as prices continued to decline.

In March, condo sales activity more than doubled, rising 101.2% compared with a year earlier, according to the RPX index designed by Radar Logic Inc. Sales in March were down 6.6% when compared with a month earlier.

Sales of existing units increased 154% in March from a year earlier. Sales of new units, meanwhile, declined 25% in March. There was also a shift towards sales for small and inexpensive condo units in the $400,000-$600,000 range, said Quinn Eddins, director of research for Radar Logic.

Condo prices, as measured by square foot, were down 14.9% in March compared with the same month a year ago. In fact, prices declined in seven of the eight neighborhoods tracked by Radar Logic. The biggest decline was on the Upper East Side, where average prices fell 28.8% to $925.93 a square foot. The only neighborhood that posted an increase in prices was the East Village/Lower East Side, where prices per square foot rose 1% to $903.64.

Despite the large year-over-year increase in sales activity, Mr. Eddins noted that sales remain low when compared with peak activity in 2007.

By BRITTANY HUTSON - The Wall Street Journal

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