Manhattan Apartment Sales Drop for Fourth Straight Quarter

Widespread layoffs on Wall Street lead to shaky confidence in the real estate market.

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Lehman. Merrill. Bear Stearns. AIG. Fannie. Freddie. Wachovia. Epic stories of failure revolved around these names and with them came thousands of layoffs. The turmoil on Wall Street has undoubtedly shaken the confidence of the local real estate market; those who've lost their jobs or that cushy bonus are uncertain about taking the plunge in terms of buying or selling.

According to Bloomberg: "Fourth-quarter transactions dropped 9.4 percent to 2,282 units from a year earlier, New York property appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and broker Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate said in a report today. While the overall median sales price rose 5.9 percent, luxury prices dropped 3.9 percent and the median for all resale apartments slid 3.6 percent."

"You could say it started the second week of September when Lehman (Brothers) filed for bankruptcy," said Dottie Herman, chief executive of Prudential Douglas Elliman.