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Quarterly Reports Show Spike In Manhattan Apartment Sales

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TWC News: Quarterly Reports Show Spike In Manhattan Apartment Sales
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Sales of Manhattan apartments are springing back, according to the city's major brokerages' quarterly report released this week. NY1's Monica Brown filed the following report.

Quarterly sales reports were released this week by the city's major brokerages.

Halstead Property and Brown Harris Stevens say Manhattan apartment sales have risen 12 percent since the third quarter of last year. It's the highest level since the financial crisis began in 2008.

"The optimism is clearly back," says Diane Ramirez the president of Halstead Property. "There is confidence that real estate in Manhattan is strong. It's the place to be."

The Corcoran group is also reporting a significant rise of 17 percent in the third quarter of this year.

Jonathan Miller, the author of the Elliman Report and CEO of real estate appraiser Miller Samuel, says the market is just relatively stable and has been for three years. For buyers, prices are still low and fell slightly lower from last year.

Miller says low mortgage rates pulled in entry-level buyers leading sales of one bedroom apartments to rise 5 percent from last year.

As sales volume increased, inventory hit a seven and a half year low. Elliman reported 5,847 available listings in the third quarter which is down 24.3 percent from the same period last year.

"I think people forget that sellers of real estate become buyers or renters after they sell," says Miller. "And credit standards are right now irrationally tight for mortgage lending. Not only that, if you have low equity, not necessarily negative equity, in your home you might not have enough equity to trade up.

New development is slowly starting to hit the market. However, brokers say low supply and high demand could drive prices slightly higher. The old rules to moving real estate still apply in any climate.

"If it's well priced and sellers, thank goodness, are still understanding, you need to be well-priced and it's in good condition, definitely we're seeing multiple bids," says Ramirez. "If it's a little over the top with the price, or if it needs a lot of work, you're seeing some hesitancy."

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