Manhattan Apartment Sales Surge

I

t always helped to have lots of money to buy Manhattan real estate, perhaps now more than ever. Residential real estate sales skyrocketed in the first quarter of 2010 -- there were 2,384 transactions in the first three months of 201o, double the number for the first quarter of 2009, according to a report by Prudential Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel.

What's more, prices have rebounded as well. Half of the units sold were priced at $868,000 or more -- a 7 percent jump from the previous quarter and not far off median selling prices during the boom years.

But don't jump to the wrong conclusion. This is not about some amazing recovery of the housing market in the country -- although the National Association of Realtors does report a February jump in high-end home sales nationwide. No, this glowing report has more to say about the unique character of the New York market.