…Miller Samuel’s Jonathan Miller, who prepared the Elliman report, cited mortgage rates as the explanation for these seemingly incongruent trends.

Mortgage rates have been steadily rising since May, which Miller said has pushed previously undecided homebuyers off the fence as they rush to take advantage of low rates….

…That, combined with the recent uptick in activity, means competition for apartments is intense, Miller said.

“The inventory shortage is not easing, and it’s made it more challenging because we’ve had this sharp increase in sales in 2013,” Miller explained….

…Miller said these eye-popping prices are calculated to make headlines rather than reflect the units’ true market value….