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NEW YORK CITY-According to a recent report from locally based Brown Harris Stevens, the average price of Manhattan Apartments set a new record of $1.3 million in the third quarter. Based on 3,677 reported apartment sales, the figure reflected a 26% increase from the same period a year ago, and coincided with a new record median price of $815,000, a 12% increase from 2006. Most notable were gains in the four-bedroom-and-larger category, which saw a 19% increase from the same time last year to $6.6 million.

The report, prepared by chief economist Gregory Heym, noted that the market for luxury properties remained strong as exemplified by the doubling of the number of sold apartments priced above $10 million, when compared to the same period a year ago. The limited inventory of high-end properties and the increase in new development prices were important factors in this sharp rise.

Heym tells GlobeSt.com that the Q3 ’07 figures reflect the strength of the market, especially at the high end. “There are a number of factors that contributed to this,” he says, “including the economic growth of New York City, which outpaced that of the nation during the first half of the year, and the strong demand met by falling supply of available Manhattan apartments.”

Condo prices reflected an impressive gain of 38% from the third quarter of 2006, posting a new record average price of $1.6 million. The median price of $1 million, up 20% from the same period a year ago, also set a new record. New-development condominiums, which represented 30% of the market in the third quarter of ’07, were bolstered by the large number of closings of three and four-bedroom apartments. As a result, the average size of condominiums was up 14% from the third quarter if 2006.

The average price of co-ops also reflected a substantial increase to $1.1 million, rising 10% from the third quarter of 2006. While the average price of two-bedroom co-ops posted a gain of 12% to $1.3 million, the average price for four-bedroom and larger cooperatives dipped by 7% in the third quarter of 2007 to $5.9 million.

Heym notes that economic growth in New York City outpaced the national average during the first half of the year, and contributed to robust activity in the local housing market. While recent instability in the financial markets has added and element of uncertainty on a national level, he says, the outlook for Manhattan remains solid.

Apartments of four bedrooms and larger led increases in average price on the East Side, with a 17% rise from the same period a year ago to $6.6 million. Prewar co-ops also saw gains, as their average price per room rose 22% during this time to $400,545.

West Side average apartment prices rose in every category, but most notably for three-bedroom and larger units which reflected a 46% surge to $4.1 million during the third quarter of 2007.

Transaction data for this market report was provided by ValuExchange, a proprietary database containing what is said to be the largest known survey of the Manhattan residential market, based on 3,677 reported Manhattan apartment sales.

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