The State of the Market A Look Back at 2005--and What's Ahead

By now, the New York City real estate market has become nearly legendary. Always one of the top three costliest American cities in which to live, the Big Apple also gives Tokyo, London, and other notoriously expensive cities a run for their money as far as rents and apartment purchase prices are concerned.

By all accounts, 2005 did nothing to alter the city’s high-ticket status. Despite rumors of a real estate “bubble” fueled in part by media and investor speculation, the co-op and condo real estate market in New York continued to grow strongly in 2005, although a slight slowing down was reported in the last two quarters.

According to data compiled on Yale Robbins Inc.’s Condo-Sales.com website, prices throughout 2005 were relatively steady — only declining toward the end of the year — and were even more robust than 2004. Between January and December 2005, a total of 6,766 one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments were sold in the city, an increase of 2,488 over last year.

Of those 6,766 apartments sold, 1,038 were studios, 2,306 were one-bedrooms, 1,916 were two-bedrooms, 654 had three bedrooms, and 852 had four or more bedrooms or were classified as lofts. Sales peaked in March 2005 with 773 apartments changing hands, and were at their lowest ebb in November, with just 388 units sold. On average, about 560 apartments were purchased in any given month in 2005.

According to Jonathan Miller, president and chief executive officer of Miller Samuel, a real estate appraisal and consulting firm, “Two-bedrooms have the largest market share, and they nearly always have — but we have been seeing a lot of studios and one-bedrooms move, as well as $20 million-plus trophy properties.”

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