MANHATTAN — House hunters are increasingly clamoring for condos — and the Upper East Side is the hottest neighborhood around, according to experts.
The area posted a 16.2 percent increase in condo contracts compared to the same time last year, part of a borough-wide trend that's driving down the number of available units and pushing up the prices, experts said.
Recently released data from StreetEasy indicate that Manhattan's condo market in October swelled 4.1 percent compared to October 2011 — the eighth month in a row with a year-over-year increase according to Sofia Song, StreetEasy's vice president of research.
The data was the most recent available.
StreetEasy's latest "Condo Market Index" noted that the number of contracts had risen 5.5 percent in November 2012 compared to the same month in 2011,
Downtown saw the biggest decrease, with 12.5 percent fewer contracts than in 2011.
Meanwhile, there are drastically fewer condos on the market — 17.2 percent less than the same period of 2011.
The Upper West Side has been the epicenter of this decrease, with a recorded 20.7 percent slip in available condo units.
Meanwhlie, prices have swollen significantly.
The median listing cost rose 10.4 percent in Manhattan compared to 2011 — with the Upper East Side posting a 16.7 percent increase. Upper Manhattan, which had the lowest recorded gain, was still up by 5.8 percent year over year.
Eager buyers also scrambled for starter apartments, though more people wanted family homes.
Though studios and one-bedroom sales shot up 2.1 percent, contracts for two or more bedrooms increased 7.4 percent compared to November 2011.
StreetEasy's report comes shortly after Citi Habitats and Miller Samuel reported that rents had gone up across the city, owing in part to a Hurricane Sandy-spurred lack of inventory.