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Manhattan real estate has been shattering records all over town. But where have all the condos gone? A scant 4000 apartments comprise the available inventory – the lowest level in recent memory while the median sale price for condos hit $1.3 million – an all-time high.

Manhattan’s luxury apartment market consists of both condos and co-ops. The average sales price rose  to $1,538,203 in the fourth quarter of 2013, an increase of 5.3% over the same period the previous year.

Sales of condos jumped 23% while sales of co-ops languished. Also in the fourth quarter of 2013, the average sales price for condos was 13% over 2012, at $2,115,228 while their counterpart co-ops slid 1.6% to an average sales price of $1,171,552.

Why are the Big Apple’s exclusive, moneyed co-ops falling out of favor with buyers these days? According to Manhattan real estate brokers, it’s because of international buyers. Co-op boards are notoriously picky and often won’t approve sales to wealthy foreign investors who insist on keeping their financial status private. Furthermore, they prefer the gleaming glass of newly built high-rise condo towers to the ivied brownstones and more rustic prewar co-op apartments.

International buyers are driving demand for high-end luxury condos and developers are keen to provide the supply. The average condo under construction these days is approximately 23% larger than last year. At 1,697 square feet, that’s especially large by Manhattan standards and substantially more spacious than any property built in previous boom times.

Of the top ten luxury condos sold in Manhattan last year, the majority were downtown townhouses; not a single one was a co-op. The selling price, in millions, appears in brackets.

Top 10 Sales in Manhattan in 2013

144 Duane St. ($43M)

18 Gramercy Park South. ($42M)

21 Beekman Place. ($34.4M)

41 East 70th St. ($32M)

607 Hudson St., Apt. 9. ($29.8M)

15 Central Park West, 33D. ($29M)

12 East 76th St. ($27M)

45 East 74th St. ($26M)

15 Central Park West, 7C. ($25M)

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