Manhattan Sales Table
A: Just wanted to show you how Q4 fared by the top brokerage firms out there and Streeteasy.com's market reports. I find it much easier to interpret when its in table form, showing both average and median sales trends for the current quarter - year ago quarter - prior quarter. Here you go.
The Manhattan Sales Table for the 4th Quarter:
It's pretty clear that:
Keep in mind that these sales reports are not only big time lagging, but they are flawed when being considered for individual unit valuations! Always, and I mean always, focus on your target units building sales when doing a property valuation. As you go outside your building you are introducing variables that only degrade the integrity of any specific unit analysis. Instead, stay in-building and focus on same line or same type sales for a comparable analysis. Ask yourself, what did someone else pay for either the exact same unit or the same footprint/exposure (same line) recently? Then make adjustments for time, floor, renovations, and size.
Average sales price trends will contain outliers that greatly skew the numbers in either direction. Median price trends are subject to the 'type' of properties that are selling during the reporting period. If you have a batch of 1BRs close for a few months followed by a batch of 2-3BRs close afterward, you will see wild swings in median sales trends. Both trends are lagging in time by about 3-6 months minimum.
Finally, its important to point out that when doing any analysis its best to do a time adjustment using the date of contract signing - not closing! When a contract is signed for a unit that ultimately closes, it is at that point that the market conditions for the deal is defined.
TIP: I use ACRIS and click on the IMG button of the recorded sale - which then runs a JAVA program and allows you to look for the RP-5217 document that contains the CONTRACT DATE.
Think about a deal that was signed 30 days before Lehman, but closed 3 months after Lehman; an extreme but useful example to understand this concept. That deal likely does NOT represent the adjustment down post-Lehman even though the sale happened after the event. The reason is because the deal was inked prior. Little things like this are quite important when understanding the lagging nature of these quarterly reports; so do not make the mistake of using a lagging indicator to interpret how the market may be performing today!