Overall, apartment sales were down more than 10% compared with the first quarter of 2017, according to a Journal analysis of city records of closed sales. That is the slowest pace since the first quarter of 2013. Sales of co-ops, which include many lower-priced apartments, fell only slightly, by 2.3%, but sales of new condominiums were down by more than 35%.


Median prices of the apartments that sold fell slightly, by 1.5%, from the same quarter in 2017. But average prices dropped by 10% in the same period.

The Journal's analysis, based on sale documents filed with the city's Department of Finance as of March 23, put the median price of a Manhattan apartment at $1.095 million, about 8% below the all-time peak price recorded in the second quarter last year.

The median price for a condominium in the first quarter was $1.625 million, down 4.6% from the year-earlier quarter. The median price of a co-op was $810,000, up 7.3% during the same period. Sales of co-ops above $4 million rose by more than 30%, while sales below $1 million were down 7.4%.


The top sale in the first quarter to date--a red-brick-and-limestone mansion on East 69th Street near Central Park--illustrates this pattern of price cutting. The house sold for $39 million in mid-March. It was listed for as much as $55 million in 2016, before several price cuts. It had previously sold for $48 million in 2011.

Sales inventory is also increasing. A new report by Brown Harris Stevens found that inventory in Manhattan is up 14% in March, compared with a year earlier. The biggest increase in supply is among studio and one-bedroom apartments.

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