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Manhattan Real Estate Sets Record Year In 2007

Feb 18, 2008
There hasn't been a year like 2007 for Manhattan real estate in a long time. And there probably won't be one like it for just as long. It saw a confluence of conflicting trends and market events that were enough to make the most brilliant economists' heads swoon. While the national housing market had literally its most devastating year since the Great Depression, New York homes shot up in value to levels that set new records in all sorts of categories.

A new year end report Corcoran Group Real Estate has given us some of the most reliable data to date on the 2007 market.

Perhaps most importantly, the value of NYC apartments and homes in Manhattan rose 8%, to an average of $1,105. Which, as we all understand at face value, is incredibly expensive. The average price for an apartment on the island rose to an astounding $1.395 million. That was a 12% increase over 2006 levels.

Different pieces of evidence suggest the market was primarily a seller's market for most of 2007. All-cash deals, for instance were transacted with a much greater regularity than the vast majority of US cities.

One of the most important trends in the NYC real estate market picked up pace in 2007: A larger and larger share of New York apartments are being sold as condominiums. Just about 55% of all completed deals in Manhattan this year involved condos. Similarly, condos experienced an average price increase of 9%, compared to 3% for apartments in co-op owned buildings.

Much of this disparity in price increases came from the rise of the luxury condo. Many such new condos that came on to the market in 2007 for the first time are in new buildings designed by some of the world's leading architects.

More anecdotally speaking, there is evidence of important changes taking place in some Manhattan neighborhoods. Districts that once offered little in the way of residential living have seen a good number of new residential buildings spring up. These changes are creating new living areas and neighborhoods, somehow magically cramming more living space in already crowded Manhattan. Examples include new living quarters in the Financial District and changes to the face of Hell's Kitchen. Similarly, Alphabet city continued in 2007 to become a safer neighborhood that has become a new cultural hotspot.

All in all, 2007 was a great year for New York apartments generally, especially Manhattan apartments. Growth in value started to taper off towards the end of the year, and there are signs of some trouble on the horizon, but even the most pessimistic predictions call for a drop in value of a considerably smaller scale than the gains that 2007 made. Furthermore, as much needed housing developments occur throughout the island, Manhattan's real estate market will only improve its ability to meet the high demand for its housing.

One, internet-based company, however, has by far the most in-depth set of search options, for both renting and buying. City Cribs - www.citycribs.com - allows users to search for a home by the details of the house that are important to them. If a user, for instance, is looking for a place with a balcony, they can search just among the homes that have one. Or, if they are only interested in furnished homes with parking, with pets allowed and no move-in fees, they can search for that, too. Even the results of their searches can be sorted in six different ways.
About the Author
Nicholas Adams Judge is a freelance writer specializing in business, politics and economics. He holds a B.A. in political science and will begin his PhD studies in political economy and public opinion next fall. He has studied economics and political science at a number of different institutions, both here and in the U.K., including Amherst College, Warwick University, Oxford University and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. New York Apartments.
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