Manhattan listings selling rate continues rise

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

New York, NY, United States (4E) – The number of Manhattan listings sales rose for the seventh straight quarter in April to June, according to the latest market report from Douglas Elliman, the fourth largest real estate company in the U.S.

The report said 3,342 sales were closed in the second quarter, a 1.1 percent increase from the first quarter sales of 3,307 listings and 6.3 percent increase from the same quarter last year. About 45.9 percent of listings found takers at or above the asking price, the largest market share in the past six years.

The report attributed the rising sales to a strong co-op market.

“Increasing prices have incentivized additional buyers to consider co-ops due to their greater affordability. We expect the improving economy, low mortgage rates and high international demand to continue to drive the market in the coming quarters,” the report said.

The inventory rose by 18 percent to 5,659 properties but average price remained at $1.7 million. The luxury market showed the most price gains as more new development product has begun to close, the report said.

Elliman also attributed the rising sales to low inventory, seven consecutive quarters of year-over-year sales growth, lower mortgage rates, more jobs in the local economy and relentless international demand.

Newly built condos remained, for the most part, a subset of the luxury market. After trailing the condo market in terms of sales and price trends, the co-op market has rebounded in the past several quarters as consumers increasingly seek out greater affordability.

Manhattan median sales price increased 5.2 percent to $910,000 from the prior year’s second quarter. Much of the gain came from the co-op market, which comprised 59.5 percent of sales and a 9 percent rise in median sales price. The median sales price of a condo edged 0.8 percent higher over the same period.

The average sales price and average price per square foot of all Manhattan apartments showed greater gains of 17.9 percent and 10.4 percent, respectively over the same period. These gains were influenced by increases in the luxury and new development markets as bigger, higher quality product entered the market. The price rise of these indicators was partially attributable

to more square footage within the units sold, rather than a shift in the mix to more bedrooms.

The 15 percent market share of 3-bedroom and 4-bedroom sales remained unchanged from the prior year quarter. However, the average square footage of a re-sale increased 6.8 percent to 1,277, while the average square footage of a new development sale rose 24.9 percent to 1,853 over the same period.

Halstead Property, in its second quarter Manhattan Property report, showed that apartment prices averaged $1,700,426 in Manhattan in the second quarter, virtually unchanged from the prior quarter’s record level, but 19 percent higher than a year ago. New developments continued to play a leading role in the market, accounting for 10 percent of all sales while posting an average price of $3,480,906. Overall, there were 9 percent more closings reported than in the second quarter of 2013.

Realtors’ marketing tactics also play a role in improving sales rate in Manhattan and elsewhere. Halstead even use drones mounted with cameras to take snapshots of dramatic views from its high-end listings to entice buyers. Other brokers and real estate agents resort to video marketing and contract video tour producers like RealBiz Media, Inc. (OTC: RBIZ).

RealBiz’s patented video processing technology available on enables the fast and efficient delivery of video marketing across multiple platforms. RealBiz’s video-centric listing site and agent directory provides Nestbuilder Agent, a video-creation tool that helps brokers and agents easily create their Online Video Channel from where they can turn listings into videos branded to them and share these with consumers over social media and email.

The nation’s top 5 percent of real estate agents (roughly 75,000) represent $2 billion per year in online advertising. A 2013 survey commissioned by ReachFactor found that these agents spend on average $36,000 per year marketing. Their most common marketing tactics include owning multiple websites and blogs, search engine (pay-per-click) marketing, and advertising on real estate portals and social media. About 70 percent of the 1,910 agents polled admitted they didn’t know how to gauge the effectiveness of their marketing spend and 88 percent felt they should be getting better results. Nestbuilder can do it for them.

Suresh Srinivasan, Chief Operating Officer at RealBiz, describes Nestbuilder as a strategic partner that will help win new listings and sell active ones.

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