Manhattan home prices flattening

After substantial drops over the past year, Big Apple prices stabilized during the third quarter.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all RSS FEEDS (close)
By Les Christie, staff writer

Latest home prices: July  Sept. 2009
The national median home price fell 11.4% during the third quarter of 2009. Check how prices fared in your hometown.. More
What I bought with my $8,000 tax credit
These 7 new homeowners stepped up their house-hunting to take advantage of the first-time buyer tax credit.
When will you know that an economic recovery is underway?
  • When the Dow tops 10,000
  • When GDP turns positive
  • When job growth resumes
  • It's already started
Mortgage Rates
30 yr fixed 3.80%
15 yr fixed 3.20%
5/1 ARM 3.84%
30 yr refi 3.82%
15 yr refi 3.20%

Find personalized rates:

Rates provided by

NEW YORK ( -- The cost of entry onto crowded Manhattan island, one of the most expensive real estate markets in the nation, may have gotten a little steeper in the past three months. Or not.

Reports released Friday by four of the city's biggest real estate agencies showed very different results. By one calculation, the median price of a home rose 1.7% to $850,000 in the past three months; but another expert said it declined by 1.8% to $791,000.

Jonathan Miller of the New York appraisal firm Miller Samuel tallied the increase for Prudential Douglas Elliman, a premier real estate brokerage firm in the city. Gregory Heym, the chief economist for brokers Halstead and Brown Harris Stevens, posted the declines.

A fourth broker, the Corcoran Group, put the median price of an apartment sold during the quarter at $799,000, a 6% drop from the spring.

But one thing they all agreed on is that year-over-year prices fell substantially: 8.4%, according to Miller; 14%, said Heym; and a whopping 18%, noted Corcoran Group.

The observed prices can vary simply because the agencies use different data, said Pam Liebman, CEO of Corcoran. For example, its Sunshine Group division, which concentrates on new condo sales, might have earlier access to its sales and have counted them as sold, while Miller and Heym don't have that information until the sales are actually registered, which could take a few weeks.

Still, all three believe the data show that the market is stabilizing.

"The interesting thing about this," said Liebman, "was that lower prices drove people back into the market." She cited a 16% increase in the number of properties sold compared with a quarter earlier.

The number of Corcoran listings for sale fell to 9,718 homes at the end of the quarter from 12,338 at the beginning, a 21% drop.

"Prices came down and people came back," said Liebman. "We saw a surge of activity."

Miller reminded, however, that this "doesn't mean we're at the bottom. There's still more pain to come."

Bill Staniford, CEO of, which compiles Corcoran's data, is also predicting that prices could drop a bit more, though not substantially. And the comparative bargains, factoring in low mortgage rates, are luring some buyers back.

"There's still plenty of money sitting on the sidelines," he said. "The biggest problem is obtaining financing."

Miller echoed that. "Underwriting requirements are the most stringent I've ever seen," he said.

Many buyers of high-end homes forgo mortgages entirely. "I've been asking brokers about high-end sales ($5 million plus), whether their clients got a mortgage or not," Miller said. "The answer is always no. I've never seen so many all-cash deals."

If lenders start to ease underwriting again, it could trigger a rush of deals. To top of page

Find mortgage rates in your area

They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
More Galleries
10 of the most luxurious airline amenity kits When it comes to in-flight pampering, the amenity kits offered by these 10 airlines are the ultimate in luxury More
7 startups that want to improve your mental health From a text therapy platform to apps that push you reminders to breathe, these self-care startups offer help on a daily basis or in times of need. More
5 radical technologies that will change how you get to work From Uber's flying cars to the Hyperloop, these are some of the neatest transportation concepts in the works today. More
Worry about the hackers you don't know 
Crime syndicates and government organizations pose a much greater cyber threat than renegade hacker groups like Anonymous. Play
GE CEO: Bringing jobs back to the U.S. 
Jeff Immelt says the U.S. is a cost competitive market for advanced manufacturing and that GE is bringing jobs back from Mexico. Play
Hamster wheel and wedgie-powered transit 
Red Bull Creation challenges hackers and engineers to invent new modes of transportation. Play

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.