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Sales of Manhattan apartments heat up

Average prices of Manhattan apartments were down this summer, but the sale of entry-level apartments has been unusually high.

Sales of Manhattan apartments sizzled this summer compared with last, while average prices for condos and co-ops cooled.

Reports from several New York-based real estate firms, released Monday, showed that the Manhattan market hasn’t been hit as hard as the rest of the U.S. by the shaky economy.

“We saw the highest levels of sales in four years in the third quarter,” Hall Willkie, president of Brown Harris Stevens, told the Daily News.

“It’s a very good market right now. There’s a lot of demand and inventory is low,” said Willkie, whose firm reported borough apartment sales rose 12%, to nearly 2,800, compared with the same period last year.

Pending sales in the third quarter of 2012, which include the typically slow months of July and August, were up 4.9% from the previous year, according to a sales analysis prepared for Prudential Douglas Elliman by independent appraisal firm Miller Samuel.

“It was an unusally active summer, with more contracts signed than last year,” said Jonathan Miller, CEO of Miller Samuel.

Sales rose 11.5% from July through September compared with the second quarter of the year, the Elliman report said, to about 2,950 from 2,650.

The average price of a Manhattan apartment was down slightly in the third quarter compared with last year, though, as buyers sought smaller and cheaper places to live.

One-bedrooms, at nearly 38%, and studios, at 14%, made up more than half the market, according to the Elliman report. Combined, sales were up nearly 4% from 2011.

“Average prices were down 1.4%, but they were essentially stable because of the unusually heavy volume of entry-level sales,” said Miller, adding that buyers took advantage of record-low mortgage rates.

Available inventory was also down – about 24%, according to Miller – which could drive prices up next year if demand continues to exceed supply.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/real-estate/sales-manhattan-apartments-heat-article-1.1172881#ixzz28AV2nfhd

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