Home sales up in tighter Manhattan market

Published Wed, Oct 2, 2013 · 10:00 PM
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[NEW YORK] As Manhattan's residential sales inventory continued to plunge in the past three months, dropping to its lowest level in 13 years, sales took off in the opposite direction, with buyers determined to make their move before mortgage rates and home prices commence the inevitable tandem escalation that experts have predicted.

According to a report released yesterday by the Douglas Elliman brokerage, sales spiked to their highest level since the 2007 heyday that preceded the Lehman Bros collapse. The volume of sales increased by 30 per cent over last year to 3,837, while inventory was down by nearly 22 per cent, and the time listings spent on the market shrank by 54 per cent. Bidding wars, popular with everyone except buyers, regained their toehold on negotiations, and sellers were able to reap 98 per cent of their final asking price.

"I think there was a mad rush to complete deals in this quarter before things change," said Dottie Herman, chief executive of Douglas Elliman. "It's a very healthy market. Sure, you're seeing bidding wars because there's no inventory, but properties are still trading at a price that has to make sense."

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