Manhattan Apartment Sales Drop 19% In the Third Quarter

Sales of Manhattan real estate fell 19 percent in the third quarter as more apartments are available for purchase while fewer people are buying.

The number of closed sales in the third quarter were 2,974, compared with 3,654 a year earlier, according to a report Tuesday from appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate

Elliman also said that the inventory of houses listed on the market jumped 10.8 percent to 6,263, 53 percent more than the number available in late 2013, the lowest point for listings.

“The Manhattan market is going through a process of resetting from the white-hot conditions of the past several years to something more sustainable in the long run,” said Jonathan Miller, CEO of Miller Samuel.

The median prices rose 2.6 percent to $950,000 in the quarter, much lower than the annual price growth rate of 18 percent in the past three years. Sellers can no longer name any price while buyers take more time to make decisions.

Fewer people are buying the luxury condos. Wealthy buyers from overseas are not buying like they used to as China’s economy slows, oil prices hurt Russia and the Middle East, and Latin America suffers recessions.

Corcoran, another brokerage company, also reported that apartment sales dropped 17 percent in the third quarter. The median price was unchanged from the second quarter at $1.1 million.

“There used to be a lot of fighting for very few apartments, but now there are plenty of choices,” said Pamela Liebman, chief executive officer of brokerage Corcoran Group, which also released a report on the Manhattan market Tuesday. “We’re experiencing a certain level of disconnect now between what buyers are willing to bid and what sellers are willing to sell for.”

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