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Manhattan Apartment Sales Drop for Fourth Quarter in Recession

Peter S. Green Bloomberg.com
Manhattan Apartment Sales Drop for Fourth Quarter in Recession - Manhattan - USA - Business

Manhattan apartment sales fell for the fourth straight quarter and prices for the most expensive apartments dropped for the first time since the recession began as the national housing slump hit the metropolitan area.

Fourth-quarter transactions dropped 9.4 percent to 2,282 units from a year earlier, New York property appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and broker Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate said in a report today. While the overall median sales price rose 5.9 percent, luxury prices dropped 3.9 percent and the median for all resale apartments slid 3.6 percent.

The U.S. recession that began in December 2007 and the global credit crisis have claimed at least three financial firms and may cost the city as many as 175,000 jobs. Finance jobs drive the Manhattan market. Employment at Wall Street investment banks accounted for almost 15 percent of the city’s total privately paid wages in the first quarter of 2006, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“The end of the year marked the beginning of Manhattan’s entry into a new kind of market,” said Jonathan Miller, Miller Samuel’s chief executive. “For all of 2008 we were seeing a fairly sharp decline in the number of transactions every quarter. Now we are starting to see prices decline.”


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