Manhattan apartment sales fell for the fourth straight quarter and prices for the most expensive apartments dropped for the first time since the recession began as the national housing slump hit the metropolitan area.

Fourth-quarter transactions dropped 9.4%, to 2,282 units, from a year earlier, the New York property appraisal firm Miller Samuel Inc. and the brokerage Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate said in a report issued Tuesday. While the overall median sales price rose 5.9%, luxury prices dropped 3.9% and the median for all resale apartments slid 3.6%.

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