Real-estate Market Reports: Closings and Prices Still Tumbling

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Second-quarter reports for Manhattan’s residential real-estate market are out today and here are the findings: It’s been a pretty brutal spring for sellers and brokers. Sales were down significantly from April to June of this year compared to the same period last year, and prices slumped. Some highlights (or, rather, lowlights):

• Closings tumbled as much as 60 percent, according to the Corcoran Group.
• Median prices for resales and new developments also sunk, per Jonathan Miller’s Prudential Douglas Elliman report. Existing apartments commanded a median price of $725,000, down from $975,000 in 2008. New condos fell from $1,145,531 to $1,069,162.
• Average prices took a hit, too: Brown Harris Stevens saw co-ops take a 24 percent hit this quarter over last year, with prices down to $1,263,471 from $1,663,533.
• It took much longer — 162 days versus 135 days — to find buyers, says Miller.

But hold the total despair — Corcoran optimistically notes a 10 to 15 percent rise in closings during the second quarter compared to the first quarter of this year. Streeteasy.com agrees that median prices for condo and co-op resales did perk up a bit in spring — by 11.6 percent for condos and 4.5 percent for co-ops — and says sales volume has risen, too, but wonders if “these increases may reflect the highly seasonal nature of the real-estate market, as there is typically more activity during the spring season.”

So have we hit bottom? “It’s a little premature to call the bottom, though perhaps the worst is behind us,” says Miller. “We’re probably in the sixth inning.”