Manhattan apartment sales surged in the busiest start to a year since 2007, setting price records as buyers vied for a limited supply of homes for sale and deals were completed at new high-end developments.
Sales of co-ops and condominiums in the first quarter jumped 35 percent from a year earlier to 3,307, according to a report today from appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. The median price climbed 19 percent to $972,428, while the the average price per square foot rose 24 percent to $1,363, the highest in 25 years of record-keeping.
Price gains are accelerating in a market where the inventory of homes for sale plummeted to record lows three times in the past year as buyer demand increased. Of the deals completed in the first quarter, 38 percent were at or above the asking price, up from 17 percent a year earlier, according to Jonathan Miller, president of New York-based Miller Samuel.
“We’re finally at a point where you’re seeing the chronic lack of supply push prices higher,” Miller said in an interview. “The market really isn’t fun for the buyer.”
There were 4,968 apartments for sale at the end of March, up 0.2 percent from a year earlier and the first inventory increase in more than three years, the firms said.
About 50 percent of deals in the quarter were completed with cash, Miller estimated. The median price of all sales was about 5.1 percent below the peak reached in the second quarter of 2008, according to Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman.
Transactions at newly constructed buildings set a record, averaging $1,834 a square foot, the firms said. Many new condo towers have larger units and are aimed at luxury buyers.