NYC home sales surge, says report

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Home sales in New York City surged in the past year, helping the Big Apple real estate market completely rebound from the housing crisis, a report has found.

The Real Estate Board of New York, a trade association, said in its residential data report Thursday that the average sales price for properties in the five boroughs increased 1 percent, from $780,000 in the third quarter of 2011 to $786,000 during the same period this year.

There were 10,963 properties sold in the third quarter this year, a 6 percent increase from 2011.

For most parts of the city, especially Brooklyn and Queens, the sales increase marked the highest prices since the 2007 peak, according to Steven Spinola, president of the real estate board.

"The slow, steady and consistent improvement in the market continues to provide strong evidence that the New York City residential sales market has made it out of the woods and should only continue to improve," he said in a statement.

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Four years ago, the foreclosure meltdown caused average sales prices for all five boroughs to dip to $669,000.

Manhattan led the five boroughs with an average price of $1.37 million in the third quarter this year for condos and co-ops, according to the report.

The neighborhood with the biggest spike in values was Morningside Heights, near Harlem, where the average sales price soared 474 percent to nearly $1.5 million.

Seth Hirschhorn, senior managing director of the real estate group CitiHabitats, said foreign investors are more confident in the New York market and have helped push sales prices in many areas to record highs.

Noting that 27 people arrived for a recent open house for a Gramercy apartment, he said: "They want to buy now because tomorrow is going to be more expensive."

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In Brooklyn and Queens, sales prices climbed above 2007 pre-recession levels. The average sales price for homes in Brooklyn was $619,000 in the third quarter and Queens homes sold for an average of $411,000.

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