It has taken a while, but finally Manhattan’s housing numbers are dropping sharply. The New York Times has a roundup of the bad news:

One market report, by the Corcoran Group, found that the number of closed sales declined by at least 30 percent compared with the fourth quarter a year earlier as the Manhattan market all but stopped after the failure of Lehman Brothers in mid-September.

Other reports, using different data and criteria, found somewhat smaller but still striking declines. A report by the Prudential Douglas Elliman brokerage found that resales of existing Manhattan apartments fell by 24.8 percent, to 1,408 sales, while the sales of condominiums in newly completed buildings rose sharply. Contracts for many of those new condominiums were negotiated in a different market, a year or more ago.

Another report, by Brown Harris Stevens and Halstead Property, put the average apartment sale price at $1.45 million in the fourth quarter, up slightly from the same period in 2007, but down 2 percent from the third quarter last year. The median price was $895,000.

These reports found the average co-op price was $1.1 million, down 8 percent from the third quarter, but up 3 percent compared with the fourth quarter a year earlier. The median price of a co-op was down 8 percent from the third quarter last year and down 4 percent compared with the fourth quarter in 2007. The average condominium price was $1.7 million in the last quarter. The reports found that the number of transactions declined by 9 percent.

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