There's no housing slump in Manhattan, according to a survey from the Real Estate Board of New York.
The median price of an apartment in the most expensive urban real estate market in America rose 6% in the third quarter to $767,000, the board said in a statement. The East Side led the way with the highest median price per square foot.
"I haven't seen any slump, I've seen the opposite," the chief executive officer of Manhattan brokerage Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate, Dottie Herman, said. "It's a healthy, good market."
Manhattan prices rose even as they declined in rest of the country.
Nationwide, the median price of a previously owned home fell 3.5% in October to $221,000, the biggest yearover-year decline on record, according to the National Association of Realtors, the largest industry trade group.
Yesterday's New York figures contradict an October report by Miller Samuel Inc., the borough's largest appraiser. Its data showed median prices fell 4% to $845,147 for the quarter.
The real estate board's numbers are compiled from a confidential survey of brokers and from public records. The board represents commercial and residential landlords in the city.
The neighborhood with the highest median price per square foot was the East Side, where it was $1,100, a 9% increase. The West Side came in second at $1,050 per square foot.
There may be no end to rising New York prices thanks to low unemployment, low crime rates, and rising population, a senior vice president of the real estate board, Michael Slattery, said in an interview. "There's no area where new investment is not likely to occur."
New York's crime rate has plunged 71% since 1993, according to police department data. Manhattan's population rose 1.8% to 1.6 million between 2000 and 2003, the U.S. Census Bureau reported.
Real estate prices are strong throughout the city. Median prices for East Side condominiums soared 45% to $1.35 million. First-time buyers seeking a toe-hold in the surging New York market pushed the median price in northern Manhattan neighborhoods to $558,000, a 60% spike, the board said. Northern Manhattan includes areas such as Washington Heights and Inwood.
"What they are getting up there may be a larger apartment for less money," Mr. Slattery said. "They are willing to be pioneers in an emerging neighborhood."
The median cost of East Side co-ops rose 13% to $856,000 and downtown the number jumped 20% to $662,000.
Two-thirds of the Manhattan market is made up of co-operative apartments, where tenants own shares in a corporation that owns the building. Residents of those properties elect board members who vet the finances and personal circumstances of applicants before they can buy a unit. By contrast, condominium residents own their apartments rather than shares.
New York co-op boards twice rejected President Nixon in 1979 because of concerns about having Secret Service agents in the lobby, the author of "The Sky's the Limit: Passion and Property in Manhattan" (Little, Brown. 2005), Steven Gaines, said.
Falling mortgage rates, which are now at a 10-month low, have failed to revive the sagging American housing market. Prices for single-family homes rose an average of 0.86% during the third quarter, the slowest rate since 1998, according to the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise in Washington.
Prices fell in five American states: Michigan, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and in New York State.
The majority of homeowners are still optimistic, according to a survey released yesterday by the Pew Research Center. About 26% of respondents said they expect the value of their homes to rise "a little" in the future and 55% said they expect it to rise "a lot." About 46% said the price of their home increased "a lot" over the past few years.
The research center conducted a telephone survey of 1,500 homeowners from October 18 through November 9. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.