NYC Real Estate: The Good News and is the Bad News

The Real Estate Board of Manhattan says that City building permits are way up: "In the first six months of 2008, there was a total of 26,851 permits issued, as compared to 16,650 in January through June 2007 -– a 61 percent increase." The number of permits issued for Manhattan in June 2008 was 5,751, versus 585 issued in June 2007 -- almost a tenfold increase. Also: in the second quarter of 2008, the average price of a New York City condo or co-op "increased 21% to $1,007,000, compared to the second quarter of last year."

On the other hand...

Michael Stoler of the New York Sun reports that "the sales volume of New York City condominiums is way down, and it is harder than at any time in recent history for purchasers to qualify for residential mortgages, most developers and brokers say." One broker tells Stoler that "the total number of [condo] transactions are down 21% in Manhattan and 26% from 2007" and "the number of days on the market has blown out from 117 to 135."

Nonetheless, as you might expect, most of the brokers quoted in the Sun are confident that things will turn around ("It could be the summer doldrums," "Let's see what happens in September," "In my opinion this is actually a great time to buy," etc).

So, to recap: Higher prices, more building, slower sales. You see where this is going?

Image adapted from a photo by Flickr user respres under a Creative Commons license.


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