As the median price of a home in the U.S. declined in the first quarter, the median sales price for apartments in New York City surged 20 percent, a new report shows.

Average sales prices for apartments in New York City rose 23 percent to $745,000 in the first quarter of 2007 compared to the first quarter last year, while median sales prices for New York City apartments surged 20 percent to $450,000, according to the Real Estate Board of New York, known as REBNY.

It’s not unusual for New York City real estate to buck national trends. According to the National Association of Realtors latest price report, the national median home price fell 1.8 percent in the first quarter from a year ago.

All five New York boroughs recorded a percentage increase in average prices for one- to three-family dwellings, according to REBNY’s report. The board issued a report for all five boroughs for the first time, and said it will continue to issue its separate Manhattan and Brooklyn reports.

One- to three-family dwellings, which make up the bulk of housing in some of the boroughs outside Manhattan, also showed gains in the first quarter. Average sales prices for one- to three-family dwellings increased 7 percent to $595,000, while median sales prices for one- to three-family dwellings rose 8 percent to $540,000. Manhattan led the average price increases for one- to three-family dwellings, rising 16 percent since last year, while Brooklyn and the Bronx were up 7 percent; Queens average prices rose 4 percent and Staten Island rose 3 percent.

The report compiles sales data in two overall categories: all apartments, which include condominiums and cooperatives, and one- to three-family dwellings. The data is then categorized by sales price and price per square foot; the average and median are computed for each subcategory, REBNY said.

The report found significant increases for average prices per square foot for New York City apartments, which rose 14 percent to $733 per square foot. The median price per square foot for New York City apartments surged 28 percent to $671.

Highlights from the report regarding apartments included:

  • Manhattan had the highest average sales price of apartments at $1.1 million. Brooklyn was second at $441,000 and Queens followed at $257,000.

  • The average price per square foot for a cooperative was $664, a rise of 7 percent compared to last year. The average price per square foot for condominium rose 19 percent to $791.

  • The average price per square foot for a Manhattan apartment increased 3 percent to $1,013. Brooklyn and Queens recorded the next-highest prices per square foot for an apartment at $476 and $348, respectively.

  • The median sales price for a condominium increased in all five boroughs. The Bronx and Manhattan showed the highest percentage increases at 17 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

Highlights for one- to three-family dwellings:

  • Overall for New York City, average prices per square foot increased 4 percent to $352 and median prices per square foot rose 6 percent to $321.

  • Manhattan recorded the highest average price for one- to three-family dwellings at $3.9 million. Brooklyn registered the next-highest average sales price at $643,000. Queens followed with an average sales price of $580,000.

REBNY is a trade association for real estate and related companies and organizations.

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