While most of the nation reels from this week's dreadful housing sales figures, New Yorkers find themselves once again ahead of the curve. The Wall Street Journal reports that median prices in Manhattan this quarter are up more than 14 percent above the previous one, and 16 percent above the same period a year ago. What's most impressive is that Manhattan real estate prices hit their lowest point last summer. Likewise, while rental inventory continues to grow in other regions, Manhattan's market is tightening. Experts cite new hiring and the impending Wall Street bonus season for the surprising growth. On Tuesday, the National Association of Realtors revealed that existing home sales had sunk to the lowest point since 1999, when they began recording the data. Manhattan reminds us, though, that bright spots can be found in the gloom. But if it's any consolation to nosey neighbors (New Jersey), the growth is mainly contained to New York City proper. Much of the rest of the state more closely resembles the national trend. More on AOL Real Estate:
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