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A blog for breaking sales and neighborhood real estate news.

We sat down for our quarterly conversation with Massey Knakal Chairman, Robert Knakal to discuss his views on the New York City property sales market, economics and political initiatives that have effected the first half of 2009. We hope you find this interview informative and timely.


Q: Now that the second quarter of 2009 has come to an end, how has market activity been?

A: In the first half of 2009, we have seen a little over $2.8 billion in transaction volume. Compared to the first half of 2008, this activity is down by about 73%. If we compare the $2.8 billion with the peak half year activity in each of the boroughs, the volume of sales is off by approximately 77%.

Q: What has been the fluctuation in the number of properties sold? 

A: In the first half of the year there were 562 sale transactions closed which consisted of 670 buildings. The 670 buildings sold represent a reduction of about 61% from the first half of 2008. This 61% figure compares favorably to the dollar volume reduction percentage indicating that the average transaction size is decreasing. If we look at our statistical sample of 125,000 properties that we track in New York City, we have always calculated volume based upon the number of properties sold out of that sample. Over the past 25 years, the average turnover has been 2.6% with the lowest turnover hitting 1.6% in 1992 and 2003, both years at the end of recessionary periods and also years in which unemployment hit cyclical peaks. If we annualize the number of properties sold in the first half of the year, turnover will be running at about 0.92% this year.

Q: Is that figure surprising to you?

A: Yes it is. At the beginning of this year we projected...

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