Ilya Marritz covers business for WNYC.
Manhattan Real Estate Shows Gradual Signs of Recovery
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
The average price of a Manhattan apartment ticked up in the last quarter of last year, according to data from a major real estate brokerage, which means it looks housing is recovering -- slowly.
One of the key indicators real estate experts look to as a growth indicator is the median sales price. Last quarter it was $845,000 -- an increase of four percent from the previous year.
That suggests prices are rising, but appearances can be deceiving. What's happening, according to independent appraiser Jonathan Miller of the firm Miller Samuel, is that more larger -- and more expensive -- were apartments sold, while fewer studios and one bedrooms changed hands.
"I think it was more of a skewed mix thing than it was prices really rising," Miller said.
Nevertheless, this points to a housing market that is stabilizing. Miller said in a recovery, smaller apartments tend to sell first. That's already happened. Then, bigger ones change hands. And that's what's happening now.