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Reports reveal the devastating effect of the Wall Street decline on apartment prices in Manhattan

The average price decreased by 10% to $810,000 in the fourth quarter of 2009 from a year earlier, down from almost $1.03 million in 2008, according to figures from New York appraiser Miller Samuel and broker Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate.
But the number of sales increased 8.4% to 2,473 as lower prices pushed transactions above the 10 year quarterly average.

All apartments, regardless of size, have been affected by the downturn and most noticeably by job losses with New York City recorded 10% unemployment in November. Fallout from the recession and credit crisis that cost more than 184,000 finance jobs in the Americas is still hurting New York. The city lost 25,200 finance jobs in the 12 months ending in November, according to figures from the state Labor Department.
More declines are anticipated. ‘We have some big macro issues ahead of us. My view is that we’re not done yet,’ said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel.

Five Manhattan property reports confirm the situation. Prices are down 15% in the last 12 months according to The Corcoran Group, a New York based broker. Brown Harris Stevens and Halstead Property put the decline at 11% and said the drop was 10%.

The number of apartments for sale has dropped 25% from the previous year to 6,851, according to Miller Samuel and Prudential. The 10 year average of quarterly inventory for sale is 7,094 units.

However, Miller called the decline in inventory an anomaly brought on by a wave of buyer interest built up during the first half of 2009. More than 6,000 apartments in new developments have yet to be listed for sale, he said.

The biggest price reduction in the last quarter of 2009 was for a 43rd floor, two bedroom condominium in the Financial District’s William Beaver House, according to StreetEasy. The price was cut to $1.66 million from $3.05 million and the unit sold 10 days later for $1.53 million.
‘If we have not hit a bottom, we have definitely hit a level of resistance here. This is an area where buyers and sellers met and agreed there is value at this level,’ said Bill Staniford, chief executive officer of