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New development closings, led by a record $240 million sale at 220 Central Park South, helped push the average apartment price in Manhattan up to $2,120,822 in the first quarter of 2019, according to Halstead’s First Quarter 2019 Market Report.

While this figure is 12 percent higher than a year ago, it does not represent the overall market. The median apartment price of $1.1 million remained unchanged and resale apartment prices declined 3 percent from one year ago. The Halstead Market Report is based on 1,953 first quarter sales, 7 percent fewer than the same period a year ago.

“The resale price decline indicates that prices are starting to adjust at a faster pace, which should help pick up the pace of sales as we look forward. Already, we are seeing a more hand-in-glove alignment between sellers and buyers—sellers are getting real with their pricing and buyers are showing less hesitancy because of lower interest rates and a better understanding of where they stand in regard to tax reform,” says Diane M. Ramirez, chairman and CEO of Halstead.

Other notable findings from Halstead’s First Quarter 2019 Market Report revealed: 

  • Co-op prices averaged $1,331,987, coming in 2 percent less than 2018’s first quarter. Three-bedroom and larger co-ops continued to struggle, as their average price was 10 percent below last year’s figure;
  • The surge in luxury new development closing wreaked havoc on the condo data in the first quarter, pushing the average price 25 percent higher. Not surprisingly, the three-bedroom and larger figure posted the steepest rise, reaching $8.8 million;
  • Led by 520 Park Avenue and 220 Central Park South, new development prices averaged a record $4,945,417 in the first quarter. Median prices, which fell 5% percent, reveal how abnormally high these closings are; the median measures the middle of the market and isn’t as impacted by these high-end sales;
  • In the first quarter, 27.5 percent of new development closings occurred south of 14th Street, the most of any market area;
  • Resale apartment prices averaged $1,575,059, a 3 percent decline from the prior year. The median price was virtually unchanged from 2018’s first quarter, at $978,120. Activity remained timid, with the number of sales 7 percent lower than one year ago;
  • Looking at only co-op resales, the average price fell 3 percent from a year ago to $1,319,882. Larger apartments continued to see their prices fall, with the three-bedroom and larger average price 12 percent lower than the first quarter of 2018;
  • Condo resale transactions in the first quarter saw an average price of $2,086,883, falling 2 percent over the past year; all sizes saw their average price decline, with the biggest fall occurring in two-bedroom and larger apartments;
  • Resale apartments sold in the first quarter spent an average of 121 days on the market, 21 percent longer than a year ago;
  • Sellers of these apartments received on average 96.3 percent of their last asking price;
  • Both the average and median loft prices per square foot declined compared to the first quarter of 2018; and
  • The highest percentage of resales in Manhattanwas on the East Side at 23 percent, followed by Midtown and Downtown (South of 14th Street), both at 19.4 percent.

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