Sales of large high-end condominiums and co-ops have spiked in New York City since the beginning of 2011 as more affluant buyers snapped up properties priced over the $ 1 Million mark.  Two to four bedroom units showed the largest number of sales as these buyers are less dependent on mortgages.  Inventory of larger units is extremely low, especially in downtown (below 23rd Street) neighborhoods.

Townhouse sales reached record highs during 2010 with the majority of houses being sold in downtown areas.  Once again, Brown Harris Stevens achieved the record sales price of $ 44 Million for a townhouse on 5th Avenue.  The firm also achieved record sales prices for both condominiums and cooperatives.

However, new condominium construction has slowed dramatically as many developers have temporarily scrapped or scaled back their projects.  The number of new permit applications for condominium units slowed to a 10 year low during 2010.  The remaining existing new construction properties are primarily larger condominium units.   Condominiums comprise only 23% of the available units for sale in Manhattan and are favored by foreign buyers and investors due to the ease of purchase and lack of ownership restrictions.

Buyers of properties priced under $ 1 Million (mostly 1 bedrooms and studios) are more dependent on the availability of credit, which remains tight.

Many large block condominium purchases have occured in recent months by international investors from Brazil, Russia, Italy, China and India.  It is projected that as consumer confidence and the emerging economies continue to grow, wealthy buyers and investors from around the globe will continue to chose Manhattan as a preferred locale for real estate investment.