Manhattan brokers released reports revealing that Manhattan’s luxury real estate market is thriving. The prices in Manhattan were “the highest average sales prices” ever recorded for the typically slow fourth quarter and the median sale price of a condo or coop hit $855,000 during the last three months of 2013. The most expensive homes saw the biggest gains. The top 10% of homes sold for a record median sales price of $4.9 million, up 10.4% year-over-year. Sales of new homes helped drive the increases. “Almost all new condo development is in the high end,” we noted that the starting price of a new condo in Manhattan is typically around $3 million. With land costs so high, developers know that building luxury condos is the only way for them to make any money. A 40-by-100-foot lot in a residential neighborhood can cost $10 million or more.
On 110th Street and Eighth Avenue, a real estate wasteland 20 years ago, a roughly 30,000-square-foot property recently changed hands for $25 million. A luxury condo building — naturally — is planned for the spot. The money is coming from Wall Street and international buyers. All of this has served to drive up properties in almost every Manhattan neighborhood. Even in Harlem and other northern Manhattan neighborhoods, chic new condos command lofty prices — sometimes more than $1.5 million for a two-bedroom apartment of under 1,200 square feet.