Sales in Manhattan apartments jump, hits year-end record

January 3
10:21 AM 2014

According to a Bloomberg report, apartment sales in the Manhattan area of New York was seen rising in the fourth quarter, which set a new record for year-end transactions. The report said the increase in apartment sales could have been attributed to the possibility that prices and interest rates might rise, quelling costlier home purchases.

A report from appraiser Miller Samuel Inc and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate today said condominium sales and co-ops have increased to 27% as compared to sales from the previous year to 3,297. The volume and the amount of deals was noted to be the highest for the fourth quarter in 25 years of record-keeping sales, said the report. Until last year, the previous record was achieved in 2012, when sellers were looking to finalize deals before an expected increase in capital-gains taxes.

New York-based Miller Samuel president Jonathan Miller said in an interview, "There's a concern that homeownership will be more expensive and therefore the time to act apparently is now. It's a combination of rising mortgage rates and concern that prices are going to rise."

An increase in mortgage rates since May of last year has prompted buyers to acquire homes in the Manhattan area, which accelerated competition for real estate properties at the time when the supply could not compensate for the demand, the report said. Homes for sale inventory at the end of December dropped 12% as compared to the previous year to 4,164, which was the lowest figure Miller Samuel had seen since tracking data in the past 14 years.

Terra Holdings LLC chief economist Gregory Heym, whose company owns brokerages Brown Harris Stevens and Halstead Property, said, "I don't see demand going away. There's no relief coming. You're seeing new developments being sold before they're finished, and there's no reason to expect people will put their apartments on the market. The frustration is finding something to trade up to."

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