Real Estate Slump Strikes Manhattan

Average apartment price soars to record; big picture grim
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2008 3:25 PM CDT
The Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town apartment complex is seen in New York in this Oct. 17, 2006 file photo.    (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, file)
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(Newser) – Manhattan real estate prices hit record highs in the first quarter of 2008, but sales declined, showing that the housing crunch is starting to affect the island, Bloomberg reports. The average price of a Manhattan apartment was $1.7 million, up 33.5% from last year, the New York Times reports, but sales for the same period fell 34%, the most in 18 years.

Because 71 sales of $10 million or more went through in the first 3 months of 2008—compared to a total of 17 in 2007—the average isn't considered a good indicator. More telling are growing inventory and Wall Street job cuts, which point to dropping prices: "You typically see a slowdown in sales activity precede a slowdown in pricing,'' said the president of a New York appraiser.