Manhattan Home Sales Plummet

A new report on The Big Apple's housing market was released Thursday.

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Corcoran Report's first quarter look at the Manhattan residential real estate market found that home sales dropped precipitously and prices fell as well:

The number of sales fell significantly in Manhattan during First Quarter 2009. The ongoing recession and economic turmoil are clearly having an adverse effect on sales volume. Due to the seasonality of the market, the first quarter typically experiences an increase in sales volume compared to the fourth quarter, but this year there was a 27% decline in sale volume from Fourth Quarter 2008 to First Quarter 2009. Versus First Quarter 2008 we estimate that sales are down approximately 52%, making this the sixth straight quarter of year-over-year sales declines (based on a reasonable estimate of First Quarter sales accounting for the typical lag time between a closing and its reporting in the public record).

With the economy in recession and sales down sharply, prices fell in Manhattan. Overall, median price is down 2% and average price per square foot fell 6%. The only unit type to experience an increase in median price was three-plus bedrooms, rising 22% year-over-year. This increase is mainly attributed to increasing demand for larger residences, especially in new developments. When new development is eliminated from the data set, the price declines in the current market become even more evident. Overall, the median price of resale units decreased 11% and average price per square foot decreased 8%. Two-bedroom resales had the largest decline of any resale unit type, dropping 12% from a year ago.