Home sales in Manhattan are down, especially compared to suburbs in New York. The problem, suggests Bloomberg reporter Oshrat Carmiel, is sellers' high expectations for their property values.

Owners who bought homes between 2010 and 2012 are now listing apartments for a modest markup. Through September, home buyers who bought homes in 2010 who are now listing homes priced at $3 million or less are seeking a median 47% markup on their investment. Buyers from 2011 are returning homes to market for a 42% median markup and buyers from 2012 are listing for a 35% markup.

The ambitious pricing, which took hold when Manhattan was starved for non-luxury listings, is bumping up against a new reality. As the inventory of sub-$3 million apartments gets replenished, sellers are sticking to their lofty expectations while buyers with more to choose from are refusing to bite. That disconnect is hobbling sales of previously owned homes in the borough, which plunged 20 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, according to Miller Samuel and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

“In my experience, it takes sellers a good one to two and a half years to believe in the new market,” Miler said. “The buyers are with the program immediately.”

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