Manhattan Buyers Face Tightest Inventory Since 2007, Condo Prices Surge Against Limited Supply

The Manhattan market continues to heat up as the spring home buying season nears, with overall median sale prices up 6.5 percent to $900,000 in the first quarter of 2014, and up 16.9 percent from this same time last year. This is the largest annual increase since the height of the market in Q1 2008. Paired with a six-year inventory low, this could signal a tough spring ahead for buyers, according to the Q1 2014 StreetEasy Manhattan Market Report[i].


New developments and re-sales both reported double-digit annual price increases in Q1 2014. Among re-sales, condo sale prices surged to $1.25 million, a 21.9 percent year-over-year increase. Co-op prices rose 14.3 percent to $680,000. Sale prices for new developments rose 50 percent year-over-year, but represented only 11 percent of closings in the quarter.


The significant rise in prices was fueled by the continued downward trend in inventory. At the core of tight inventory are extremely fast-paced sales, even for Manhattan standards. Average days on market for listed inventory was only 89 days in Q1 2014, the lowest average recorded since StreetEasy began tracking this data in January 1995. This is a 35.2 percent decrease from this same time last year when homes were listed for 137 days on average. Overall Manhattan inventory[ii] fell 13 percent in the first quarter compared to Q1 2013, to its lowest level since Q4 2007. Co-ops showed the largest annual inventory decrease (-18.6 percent), followed by condos (-7.3 percent) and single-family homes (-2.5 percent).


"What we're seeing is a discouraging trifecta for Manhattan buyers: higher prices, drastically lower inventory and higher interest rates, which is keeping some potential buyers out of the market," said StreetEasy Data Scientist Alan Lightfeldt. "We don't expect these double-digit price increases to last much longer before sellers are unable to find willing and able buyers. For buyers, be prepared for a challenging spring. You'll need to act fast."


Additionally, the total number of contracts signed in the first quarter of 2014 fell 9.3 percent from Q4 2013 and 15.2 percent year-over-year, an important indicator of interest in current price and supply of homes on the market.


The StreetEasy Condo Market Index (SECMI)[iii], which tracks Manhattan condo price movements over the past 15 years, rose to 2331 in Feb. 2014. This exceeded last month's previous index high and is up 16.3 percent since Feb. 2013.  




Median Sale Price

StreetEasy Condo Market Index (SECMI)

For-Sale Inventory


Q1 2014 Median Sale Price

Year-over-Year % Change

Year-over-Year % Change


Average Days on Market













Midtown (includes Roosevelt Island)






Upper West Side






Upper East Side






Upper Manhattan





*Midtown SECMI does not include Roosevelt Island


The full report can be downloaded at .






Manhattan Buyers Face Tightest Inventory Since 2007…


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