comparing 2Q Manhattan loft data + overall market / the case of the missing lofts

 the race to publish ended with a boom this quarter
The three major firm market reports for the Second Quarter 2009 came out last week, essentially at the start of the holiday weekend. You’ve probably seen enough of the general media commentary about The Cliff The Manhattan Real Estate Market Just Fell Off, but I will highlight here how the Manhattan loft market niche compared to the overall Manhattan market data. Maybe I will get to the overall market at a later (but soon-ish) point. (Best laid plans …)
Loft data with year-over-year comparisons (links to the reports below; links to commentary on two prior quarters below)

median sales price avg price per foot transactions days on market inventory
Miller Samuel $1.8675mm [down 9.6%] $1,197 [down 9.9%] 72 [down 73.5%] 138 [down 2.8%] 737 [down 12.7%]
Terra Holdings
$1,067 [down 8.9%]


Corcoran $1.42mm [down 25%] $1,083 [down 10%]




Comparing the loft niche to the overall market, according to Corcoran the loft niche under-performed on median sales price (the overall market was down 13% YoY) but over-performed on average price per foot (the overall market was down 16% YoY).

Using the Miller Samuel more rich data set, the loft niche over-performed on median sales price (the overall market was down 18.5% YoY), on average price per foot (the overall market was down 16.4% YoY), on days on market (the overall market was up 20% YoY), and inventory (the overall market was up 8.7% YoY), while under-performing the overall market on transaction volume (the overall market was down ‘only’ 50.3%).

where did the lofts go?
Using The Miller’s numbers, Loft Sales were way down YoY and down less severely from the prior Quarter, but Loft Inventory was also down (both YoY and QoQ). (I believe that The Miller framed this incorrectly when he said about the decline in Sales and Inventory: "the disconnect between these two indicators appears to be an anomaly since inventory tends to increase as the number of sales increase"; I assume that should be "… anomaly since inventory tends to increase as the number of sales decrease".) There were 97 fewer lofts for sale as of June 30 compared to March 31, but 17 fewer sales in 2Q compared to 1Q, so the reduced inventory is not from increased sales. Seems to me that an unusual number of 1Q loft "sellers" dropped out of the market in the last quarter. Either they gave up (taking the loft off the market permanently) or are preapring for a return at a different time (a better price?), hoping for a better response.

These disappointed sellers (now, more accurately, former sellers) are more likely to be ‘previously owned’ lofts rather than new developments taken off the market. If I am right, there is no way to predict when (if) these disappointed (former) sellers will come back to market, but I notice that The Miller has begun to include such people in his description of "shadow inventory". That term used to be reserved for new development sales not yet released to market.

links! we got links!
You can access PDFs of the various reports by clicking the Miller Samuel report, the Corcoran report and the Terra Holdings report (here’s the Halstead version).

© Sandy Mattingly 2009



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