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Manhattan apartment prices hit record high

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The median and average sales price for Manhattan apartments set a new record in 2008, climbing 11 percent to $955,000, while the number of sales slipped 23.3 percent from its record level in 2007. The annual Manhattan Market Report, prepared by real estate appraisal and research firm Miller Samuel Inc. on behalf of Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate and released this week, also reveals that for-sale inventory at the close of 2008 grew 40.9 percent compared to end-of-year 2007. In 2008, the average sales price for Manhattan co-ops and condos rose 17.8 percent, to $1.59 million. Average days on market rose 14.4 percent, to 143 days, and the average discount on sales from the list price was 4.1 percent -- larger than the 2.4 percent in the prior year. Ranging from an average $993 per square foot for studios to $2,831 per square foot for apartments with four or more bedrooms, the overall average price per square foot of Manhattan apartments jumped 11.7 percent in 2008, to $...