Manhattan condo market tumbles
Market pandemonium and concerns about the economy alarmed potential Manhattan condominium buyers in August, causing both condo prices and sales in the area to drop briskly throughout the month. Real estate data provider Radar Logic RPX Manhattan Neighborhoods report released Thursday shows condo prices falling 5.3% from July to August, more than offsetting the gains achieved over the preceding year. On a year-to-year basis, the condominium prices have fallen nearly 1%. Sales of condos in Manhattan fell a dramatic 14.6%. "A rapid decline in sales and transactions is not unusual in the second half of the year but the declines this August were unusually severe," Radar Logic reported. The monthly decline in Manhattan condo prices in August was the largest decline for that month since the beginning of Radar Logic’s data in 2000. And the monthly decline in the number of sales was the largest for the month of August since 2007, and in terms of percentage terms was the largest on record. 'Turbulence in the stock market and the prospect of another recession likely caused many would-be condo buyers to delay their purchases, contributing to the rapid August-over-July decline in condominium closings," the RPX report states. "Stock prices fell off a cliff in the beginning of August, as investors expressed serious concerns over the U.S. economy and the European debt crises," the report adds. "The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 11% between July 29 and Aug. 19." Condo prices declined on a month-to-month basis in five of the eight Manhattan neighborhood tracked by Radar Logic, with the largest decline in the East Village/Lower East Side (-32.4%), followed by the Upper East Side (-19.7%), Soho/Tribeca (-6.6%), the Financial District (-2.9%) and the Upper West Side (-0.2%). Condo sales suffered on a month-to-month basis in six neighborhoods in August, with the largest declines on both an absolute and percentage basis occurring in the Upper East Side (-35.4%) and Chelsea/West Village (-25.5%). Write to Justin T. Hilley. Follow him on Twitter @JustinHilley.