the very first Second Quarter Manhattan real estate market report numbers out

ahead of The Times, with what, exactly?
As we are counting down to the last days of the Second Quarter, the number crunchers at Miller Samuel, Terra, Corcoran and elsewhere are in their counting houses, counting up their sales. Traditionally, the three major firm reports on the Manhattan real estate coop and condo market are released within a day or two ofter the end of the quarter, so we can anticipate a flurry just before the holiday weekend.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal is taking its competition with the NY Times over Manhattan news to a new level, as Josh Barbanel tries to scoop the news, as he reports on a WSJ analysis of sales in the Second Quarter while the quarter has a few days to go. In Apartment Sales Up in Manhattan, on line on June 26, Barbanel reports that transaction volume will be up 80% for the quarter compared to the same quarter in 2009. Take that, Old Grey Lady!

Murdoch 1, Sulzberger 0
Fascinating bit of one-ups-man-ship. The NY Times can be expected to report on Thursday or Friday this week similar news based on the three major firm reports, which the Times probably already has in draft form, embargoed until the end of the quarter. But the Journal did (a bit of) its own analysis.

A Wall Street Journal review of closed-sales filings with New York City Department of Finance shows that during the second quarter, which ends June 30, sales were running 80% above the pace reported a year ago.


The sales figures were culled from deed and tax filings recorded up to five days before the end of each quarter.

no price "analysis"
In between that early sentence and the closing sentence quoted above, the "***" includes the traditional Talking Head quotes from broker sources, "reporting" general impressions of The Market. Nothing interesting — or specific — in that "***". Indeed, Barbanel addresses the question of price movement very generally, not having done his own analysis and with no major firm reports yet available.

No "news" here:

Analysts said there has likely been a modest recovery in prices as well.

As I see it, the entire justification for this article as "news" is the 80% volume report, based on the Journal’s own review of city records. Barbanel knows that the Times does not do its own review of quarterly sales data, but reports on the reviews done by Terra, The Miller and Corcoran.  Touche!

© Sandy Mattingly 2010

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