The quarterly numbers for real estate sales in Manhattan were released this week, painting a dark picture of the current market. While even the most uninterested layman could probably tell you that housing sales have fallen, the latest reports indicate that sales of Manhattan apartments and co-ops have fallen by as much as 58%. This is a dramatic drop, especially when one takes a look at the deeply troubled auto industry, where sales are off by approximately 45%.
New construction and luxury apartments on Park Avenue, Fifth Avenue and Central Park West in particular have been hit hard by the housing slump. Compared to a year ago, sales of apartments that are priced over $10 million have plummeted by a whopping 87%. While there
were eight co-ops that closed for over $20 million in the first quarter of 2008, only one managed to close for that amount in the same quarter of this year.
A representative from Advantage Home Rates says: “Not only have the price dropped and there are very few buyers in the market now, but out of those few buyers, very few actually qualify for mortgage loans, as the requirements for mortgage loans have tightened, often requiring minimum down payments of 30% or more.”