Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Update On New York Times Housing Price Drop Story!


As I suspected, while the constant rise of housing prices should - hopefully - end soon, the large price drop the New York Times reported took place in Manhattan during the last quarter APPEARS to be partially - if not largely - due to a different mix in what sold over the summer:

Luxury market really takes a beating, with prices down 26% ($5.2 million average to $3.8 million average) in last three months. Only four sales above $10 million.

Here is an example where even if sale prices had gone up compared to prior sales of comparable properties, since fewer units at the very high end of the market sold, it would still appear that property values were declining

Record sales of entry-level apartments pushing price averages downward.

OK - so we now have both very few sales at the top of the market and record numbers selling at the bottom of the market in the same quarter, creating a dramatic price drop in sales prices.

But that still does not mean that the prices those units received were any lower than they would have been in the quarter before this one. Therefore, we do not know if there is any real price drop yet.

In other words, the jury is still out on where Manhattan housing prices are heading:

Brokers sound notes of relative optimism, of course, noting summer traditionally (read: from 1958 to 1972) was a slow time for the housing market. Where from here? Let's not forget prices this summer were still a solid 10% above those last summer. If this is the downdraft, let's break out the party hats.

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