Manhattan Condo Market Projected to Stabilize: Glass is Half Full and Topping Off! August 12, 2009Posted by John Watch in AccuriZ Reports, News Feed.
Tags: AccuriZ, Condos, housing market, housing recovery, John Watch, Manhattan, property data, public records, real estate news, real estate report, shadow inventory
The Manhattan Condominium Market is about to “shock the skeptics”. There have been numerous reports published by noted “Manhattan Experts”, but a recent article in Crain’s Business week begs of the question “Who is manipulating What and Why? (See the NYC Square Footage Report) (See our repsonse to the Crain’s Business Report)
Has a “Shadow” fallen on the NYC condo market, or is it just another game of smoke and mirrors? We thank the New York City Department of Finance for enabling those who have the desire to do the actual analysis, assuming one has the ability to do so. The Department of Finance has provided public records of a rolling sales history since 2003. This represents all property sales in New York City; not listings, not possible listings and not sales that didn’t close or the seller backed out. But Real Sales data!
DoF also provides public records to the Assessment Rolls for Class I, II, III and IV Properties. From this Assessment Roll we can find out how many properties exist in each borough and when the property was built. An individual with some basic computer skills can than run a query to append the sales file with the Assessment file.
Once completed, a further level of skill is required; not a lot of skill, but just a little. Invalid sales should be stripped out of the analysis. An invalid sale would be a property that transferred for less than $1,000 dollars. As a seasoned valuation analyst, I would actually go an additional step and remove all sales that sold for under a $125 per square foot in Manhattan. The simple fact is that such sales would not be representative of the market and do not come close to representing the actual cost of construction.
So common sense prevails. In the end, a valid set of sales and property data is available for analysis. The table below indicates that the average and median sales price for condos is declining at a rate of about 8% for the first six months of 2009. This is much lower than some reports have indicated, but HOLD ON.. there’s more.
The chart above considers the rolling average of sales from July 2008 to July 2009. We have applied this property data to adjust for the over correction in the markets and the seasonal affect of winter sales. Based on the trend line, we are projecting that for the months of July, August and September sales activity will increase and property values will adjust upward. Furthermore, the 4th Quarter – which usually shows weaker activity and valuation – will indicate a level of stability.
In short, when you analyze data with a known common factor such as “Square Footage”, manipulation of the data is difficult. Combine this with an open policy of NYC to provide data free for analysis when it used to cost over $20,000, analyst can now openly check one another.
There is a true check and balance and the latest reports about the Manhattan market are misleading.