The average Manhattan apartment sale price of $1.252 million was down 16 percent from the first quarter of 2012, according to a report released by Brown Harris Stevens.

The report noted that declines were most apparent in the co-op market, where prices fell an average of 22 percent compared with the previous first quarter with the average price sitting at $925,815. Meanwhile, three-bedroom and larger co-ops posted the biggest decrease in average price, down 31 percent from a year ago. 

"With many buyers, especially those on the high-end, rushing to close at the end of 2012, we experienced a significant decline in high-end closings. This quarter's statistics were also impacted by the $88 million closing at 15 Central Park West one year ago," said Hall Willkie, president of Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales.

"As interest rates remain low, the local economy is strong, and with inventory of available apartments 30 percent below where it was a year ago, we continue to see a healthy level of activity with well-priced homes selling quickly."

Other report highlights include:

  • The average time on the market until signed contract was 111 days, 14% less time than a year ago.
  • On the East Side, all sized apartments saw a decrease in average sales price except studios.
  • The average price on the West Side particularly for 3 bedroom and larger apartments was impacted by the $88 million sale in the first quarter of 2012 at 15 Central Park West.
  • Downtown studios and 2-bedrooms saw price increases while 1-bedrooms and 3-bedroom and larger apartments experienced a decrease over the past year.