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Luxe Home Sales Predict Red Hot Real Estate Market for 2013

By DNAinfo Staff on January 3, 2013 7:02am

NEW YORK — They just keep going up.

Warnings that home prices would soar in 2013 appear to have been backed up by the latest figures.

Stats from Brown Harris Stevens and StreetEasy for the fourth quarter of last year show low inventory continues to buoy apartment prices, and that ultra-luxury residences — those worth more than $10 million — are especially hot.

According to Brown Harris Stevens, the average Manhattan apartment sale price hit $1,486,692 — a 7 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2011.

Co-ops sold for an average price of $1,285,426, 12 percent higher than in 2011, the agency reported.

In her report for StreetEasy, Sofia Song, vice president of research, found similar results.

"In 2012, we saw the highest number of closings in Manhattan since 2008 grouped with low inventory, fewer price cuts and historically low mortgage rates," StreetEasy noted in a statement.

The increased prices are bolstered by a handful of megasales, according to Brown Harris Stevens.

In the fourth quarter of 2012, there were 23 reported sales of homes priced at more than $10 million, whereas during the same period of 2011 there were only 16.

“Our report shows that there was a 44 percent increase in sales over $10 million when compared to the same period in 2011," Hall F. Willkie, president of Brown Harris Stevens residential sales, said in a statement.

"This does not include several substantial transactions in the last days of 2012 that closed after the report was produced. This strong demand from both local and international buyers combined with a strong local economy is a hopeful sign for 2013.”

Song's stats indicated that in 2012, 644 such "trophy" properties were offered for sale, the highest number in the last five years.

"This is a segment of the market that defies market principles," the StreetEasy statement said.

"It started with the $88 million closing at 15 Central Park West early in the year.  Since then, one-of-a-kind properties were listed at stratospheric prices."