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The Optimism Index


How are sellers feeling these days? We asked Streeteasy.com to calculate asking prices for Manhattan condos during the week of November 10, and compared those numbers to those from the same time last year. As it turns out, condo owners are definitely dropping their starting prices. Those living downtown—in Chinatown, the financial district, and Greenwich Village, especially—appear to have made the most peace with the new financial-world order, cutting their median asking prices by nearly 11 percent. Midtown condo sellers, on the other hand, are somewhat more hopeful, especially those in Times Square, Clinton, and Central Park South (the Plaza owners, most likely); they’ve raised their asking prices by 2 percent.

You can, of course, tell only so much from asking prices rather than sales. What we may be seeing here is not lowered prices but less reaching—in other words, not so much “let’s see if we can get 10 percent more than our neighbors just did” pricing. We’ll know for sure when everything sells—or doesn’t.


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