New York Real Estate Immune To Market Woes?

Wednesday, November 7th 2007, 2:38 pm
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) None of the bad news about the U.S. housing market has seemed to matter to the big spenders lining up to buy homes and apartments in New York City.

The average sales price for a Big Apple dwelling climbed to $782,000 in the third quarter of 2007, an increase of 20 percent over the same period a year earlier, according to a report by the Real Estate Board of New York .

Prices were highest in Manhattan, where the average home sold for $1.33 million, or around $1,176 per square foot. The cost of a home went up in every borough except Staten Island, which saw a 2.8 percent drop.

The price hikes stood in sharp contrast to what has been happening in the rest of the country, and even the New York City metropolitan region as a whole.

Nationwide, home prices have been falling because of turmoil in the credit markets, worries about rising defaults of subprime mortgages and an oversupply of housing in some markets. The number of sales of existing homes has been dropping too.

But New York City has remained largely unhurt. Michael Slattery, a senior vice president at the Real Estate Board, attributed the local housing market's resilience to the city's desirability, the gentrification of previously blighted neighborhoods and the chronically low supply of available homes.

"We've never been able to produce a great deal of new housing here in New York," Michael Slattery said. "And we have great demand."

Michael Slattery said there had been some worry that higher pricing of jumbo mortgages might reduce the pool of buyers, but those concerns, he added "were short lived."

The board's price survey, which is based on data collected by the city, included all condominiums, cooperative apartments, and one- to three-family homes sold in July, August and September.