Sales improve multifamily situation in Manhattan

Manhattan's multifamily situation improved during the second quarter.

A report completed jointly by Miller Samuel and Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate showed that more property management companies may be selling apartment units to first-time buyers in Manhattan due to the continually improving rental prices and low mortgage rates available in the market.

Total condominium and co-op sales during the second quarter were 2,647 units. This was not a significant change from the previous year. However, the median price for Manhattan declined to $829,000, which was a 2.5 percent drop from the same point in 2011.

One-bedroom and studio units were more than half of all sales during the second quarter, and it was the highest level since the fourth quarter of 2009, the report explained. However, much of the popularity of these units then was due to the federal tax credit, which helped many first-time buyers acquire significant funding for a property.

"The ones that can qualify are clearly buying," Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel, told Bloomberg. "They're looking at rent versus buy and in more and more cases, the math starts to work."

Apartments with two bedrooms experienced a 32 percent share of the sales market during the second quarter, which was six percentage points lower than during the second quarter of last year, according to the report.

StreetEasy released a report that showed apartment sales in the borough had a median price increase of 2.4 percent during the second quarter, bringing the level to $840,000, according to the news source. This was in line with most estimates in the city.

"The mood seemed to be a little bit better than it has in the last couple of years," James Ferrando, sales broker at Prudential Douglas Elliman, told the news source. "The buyer mentality, they're eager to get out there and look and purchase."

In addition, the total inventory of Manhattan apartments fell 14 percent to 6,981 units during the second quarter, when compared to the same point in 2011, the Miller Samuel report noted. Luxury apartments experienced 265 sales during the second quarter, which was the same as the second quarter of last year. These properties had a median price of $4.08 million, which was 10 percent lower year-over-year.

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