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Regional Spotlight—According to the fourth quarter Manhattan residential market report released recently by Brown Harris Stevens, the average Manhattan apartment sale price of $1,391,745 was down slightly from the last quarter and down just 3 percent from same period in 2010. A leading factor in the lower average price was a steep decline in condo sales, which accounted for 40 percent of all sales, compared to 46 percent in 2010’s fourth quarter.

Condos typically sell for more than co-ops and when they comprise a smaller share of sales, the overall average apartment price will be driven lower. The average price for cooperatives sold during the fourth quarter of 2011 was on par with a year ago, at $1,149,203. The average condominium price was $1,825,728, up 4 percent from a year ago with most size categories seeing an increase in price. There were 1,645 fourth quarter closings reported at the time of this report, 13 percent less than a year ago.

“A key factor in the decrease in closing in the fourth quarter, was the threatened expiration of the Bush tax cuts which led many high-end owners to sell before 2010 ended,” says Hall. F. Willkie, president of Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales. “New York City’s recovery remains well ahead of schedule. This combined with a relatively low rate of available apartments has led the Manhattan market to continue to outperform the rest of the nation.”

• The average price for three-bedroom and larger co-ops rose 18 percent over the past year, all other size categories of co-ops saw their average price decline during this time.

• Helped by three closings for more than $20 million, the average price for three-bedroom and larger apartments on the East Side rose 42 percent compared to 2010’s fourth quarter.

• Sales at The Laureate once again impacted average sales prices on the West Side. The average price per square foot for condos jumped 20 percent over the past year to $1,571.

• In the Downtown market, the average condo price per square foot rose 5 percent over the past year to $1,257. Co-op prices declined, with the average price per room 8 percent lower for prewar and 4 percent lower for postwar apartments.

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