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……There were 2,473 sales in the current quarter, up 8.4% from the 2,282 sales in the prior year quarter and up 10.9% from the prior quarter. This level of activity was more than twice the 1,195 sales seen in the first quarter of 2009, which had been lowest level of sales in nearly 15 years. The return to more normal historical levels of sales activity was also reflected in the decline in inventory levels. There were 6,851 active listings at the end of the quarter, a 24.6% decline from 9,081 listings in the same period a year ago, but down 18.3% from 8,389 listings in the prior quarter….The second half of the 2009 Manhattan housing market reflected a new era, marked by the milestone Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy tipping point of September 15, 2008. Buyers, sellers and real estate professionals have slowly adopted to changes including stringent, if not irrational mortgage underwriting, elevated unemployment and layoffs, lower compensation, a sharp price correction, shadow inventory, first time home buyers tax credit, rising foreclosures, declining appraisal quality, expanding marketing times and a host of other challenges. While the increased level of sales in the second half of 2009 was encouraging, a true housing recovery will be marked by a meaningful decline in unemployment and greater consumer access to credit…….
Download 4Q 2009 Manhattan Market Overview