According to Douglas Elliman’s fourth-quarter sales report, 2014’s average sale price climbed to a new record high of $1,718,531, surpassing the pre-recession record of 2008. Plus, the fourth quarter had the second-highest sales volume in 25 years with 2,718 closed sales (the highest was in 2013, with 3,297 closed sales).
What’s to thank (or blame, depending on your feelings)? Jonathan Miller, author of the report and president of real estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel, told Curbed “Prices are up for two key reasons. New development contracts from the past few years are beginning to close, and new development is skewed towards high end. Plus, inventory is up 20 percent from last year’s 15-year record low but most of that increase is from new development.”
New development inventory more than doubled since last year, and most of 2014’s sales in these new buildings fall within the luxury market, which is the top 10 percent of co-op and condo sales. The past year saw 39 sales at or above $10 million, up 143.8 percent, and almost half of the year’s listings sold at or above their asking price. But despite the sky-high prices, 2014 saw a 0.3 percent drop in sales, to 12,695 from 12,735. Miller asserted that 2013 was an “anomaly” though, as buyers had a “pent-up demand.” And even with an increased inventory, the available housing stock is still about 15 percent below the long-term average.
Images via Douglas Elliman