Manhattan apartment sales rebound, rents up, vacancies down report

New York City's housing market continued its rebound in the second quarter of 2010 as the total amount of residential real estate sales increased 72 percent by dollar amount compared to the second quarter of 2009, according to a new report by, the public real estate listings site of Real Estate Board of New York. The value of all deals increased to $7.6 billion last quarter, up from $4.4 billion in the second quarter of 2009 (note: correction appended). The REBNY report also found that the average sales price for all homes citywide -- including co-ops, condos, and one-to-three family units -- increased to $728,000. Citywide, apartment sales volume increased year-over-year 65 percent. In addition, Manhattan apartment sales volume increased 82 percent, while in Brooklyn it increased 62 percent. Recent market reports from the city's major residential brokerages similarly declared that home sales volume has increased citywide, but found that prices have remained flat. "The trend that emerged in previous quarters is enduring, and we are optimistic that this indicates a return to a healthy market," said Steven Spinola, president of REBNY "Although these developments are promising, the resurgence is dependent upon continued economic recovery.
The Manhattan residential rental market also showed modest improvement over the last month, with inventory declining and rents climbing in both month-over-month and year-over-year comparisons, according to the Real Estate Group NY's July report, which measures rental activity from June 15 to July 15 (see full report below). The largest year-over-year rent hikes were seen amongst non-doorman studios, which averaged $2,077 per month, up 6.06 percent from July 2009. Meanwhile, prices for studios with doormen, averaging $2,367 per month, rose by just 1.29 percent -- the smallest increase of the apartment types. Neighborhoods still offering deals even as the overall market rebounds include the Lower East Side, where non-doorman, two-bedroom units saw rents fall 9.52 percent in July to $2,770 per month and Harlem, where rents for two-bedroom units with doormen declined by 9.69 percent to $2,345 per month -- the lowest price since TREGNY began tracking data for the neighborhood in 2008. The data reflects trends from roughly 10,000 listings in TREGNY's proprietary database in the borough, all priced under $10,000 per month. Overall, vacancies declined by 0.78 percent month-over-month in Manhattan, which TREGNY attributed to recent college graduates entering the rental market and to would-be intra-borough renters who are now staying in Manhattan as landlord incentives in the outer boroughs have decreased. In a recent second-quarter rental report, Prudential Douglas Elliman found that although rental activity had returned to pre-recession levels, average rental prices were relatively flat in Manhattan, declining 3.3 percent on a year-over-year basis but increasing 12.3 percent on a per-square-foot basis quarter-over-quarter. TRD


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