Manhattan apartment inventory strikes 7-year low

The supply of Manhattan condos and co-ops for sale in the third quarter shriveled to a seven-year low while sales rose, according to market reports released Tuesday.

Inventory dropped 24.3 percent from the same period a year ago to 5,847 units, according to a Miller Samuel Inc. report prepared for Prudential Douglas Elliman. A Corcoran Group study showed that available units on the market in the third quarter fell 22 percent to 7,041 listings.

The absorption rate, or amount of time required to sell all the listings at the current pace of the market was 5.9 months, the fastest since 2007.

“The inventory shortage is becoming chronic,” Miller Samuel president Jonathan Miller told Bloomberg. “You can’t have inventory continue to drop indefinitely without seeing some sort of upward price pressure.”

Currently, prices have yet to jump: the median sales price of all condos and co-ops traded during the quarter was $890,000, a 2.3 percent dip from the previous year, according to Miller Samuel.

Closings have been brisk, with Corcoran reporting 3,821 sales in the third quarter, a 17 percent year-over-year gain. Halstead Property and Brown Harris Stevens noted a 12 percent annual increase to 2,790 transactions, the highest number since the same period in 2008.

“Sales are happening across all price points in Manhattan,” Halstead president Diane Ramirez told Crain’s. “That is good news. It shows that there is confidence and belief in the market.”

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