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Manhattan Condo Prices Fall as Buyers Push Back

Escalating values have spurred more listings as Manhattan apartment owners seek to profit from surging demand. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg
Escalating values have spurred more listings as Manhattan apartment owners seek to profit from surging demand. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

May 30 (Bloomberg) -- Manhattan condominium prices fell in April by the most in more than three years, a sign the market is slowing during the busiest selling season.

Sale prices for previously owned units dropped 1.4 percent from March, the biggest decline since September 2010, after four consecutive monthly increases, according to a report today by real estate website StreetEasy.com. Condo prices are likely to be little changed through the spring, rising 0.1 percent in May, StreetEasy projected.

Purchases and prices typically rise during the second quarter, traditionally an active time for New York real estate. Contracts to buy condos in April dropped 3.2 percent from the previous month and almost 14 percent from a year earlier, signaling that buyer appetites have cooled after competition for tight inventories pushed up values, according to StreetEasy.

“After a record-breaking finish to 2013 and beginning to 2014, we may have approached the upper price limit to where buyers are willing or able to meet sellers,” Alan Lightfeldt, a data analyst at New York-based StreetEasy, said in the report.

In the first quarter, the median condo sale price jumped 17 percent from a year earlier, the biggest increase since the height of the market in 2008, according to StreetEasy, which is owned by Zillow Inc.

Condo sale prices in April were up 13 percent from a year earlier, according to today’s report.

Escalating values have spurred more listings as Manhattan apartment owners seek to profit from surging demand. Inventory increased 3.6 percent in April, the fourth consecutive monthly gain, StreetEasy said. Of the available condos for sale, almost half were priced at $1.9 million or more.

To contact the reporter on this story: Heather Perlberg in New York at hperlberg@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at kwetzel@bloomberg.net Christine Maurus, Pierre Paulden

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