Manhattan condos fall short of pre-recession price points
Manhattan condo prices regained 16% of their value in the past two years, but still remain 12% below pre-crisis levels, according to Radar Logic's latest RPX Manhattan Condominium price report. In March, Radar Logic priced the average Manhattan condo at $1,017 per square foot, up from $923 in 2009, but still below the $1,213 price point established in 2008. Despite condos regaining some of their value these past two years, the Manhattan market still grapples with lackluster sales in this segment, the RPX report said. March condo sales were down 18% from 2008's peak level, and the total condo transaction count fell 3% this past March when compared to year-ago levels. In terms of where activity is occurring in Manhattan, the RPX report says larger units are pulling in more buyers. The sale of units in the 900- to 1,500-square-foot range grew year over year, while sales in the 450-to 900-square-foot market fell over last year in March. "This dynamic is consistent with our observations of widespread investment buying, as investors tend to buy larger units for their ease of resale (at some point)," Radar Logic said in its Manhattan condo RPX report. Researchers with Radar Logic concluded that "the shift toward larger units has contributed to an improvement in the Manhattan Condominium RPX price relative to last year, as larger units command higher prices per square foot than smaller units." Even still, the report stipulated that Radar Logic is not "comfortable calling it a recovery" just yet. The Manhattan neighborhoods reporting the largest year-over-year price gains included Chelsea/West Village, where prices rose 23.4%; the East Village/Lower East Side, where prices jumped 16.6%, and Soho/Tribeca, where prices are 14.7% higher. Write to Kerri Panchuk.