By Josh Barbanel

The New York City co-op market was so slow in November and December that many brokers who typically move properties at a furious clip decided to take early holiday vacations instead, brokers said.

In all, there were fewer contracts signed on co-ops listed for $4 million or more in the fourth quarter of 2016 than in any fourth quarter in the last five years, said Donna Olshan, a Manhattan broker who tracks the luxury market.

As a result, inventory of unsold co-ops is piling up -- and they are taking longer to sell. Total inventories jumped 20% in the fourth quarter compared with the same quarter in 2015, according to brokerage Brown Harris Stevens.

The weakness has led many sellers to cut asking prices by 10% to 15%, brokers said.

Overall the median price of a Manhattan co-op rose by 0.4% to $752,000 in the fourth quarter compared with the same quarter in 2015, according to a report prepared by Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel Inc., for brokerage Douglas Elliman.

But the same report found that the median price on larger, more expensive co-ops fell sharply. The median price of three-bedroom co-ops sold in the final three months of 2016 was $2.24 million, down 12% from the same period in 2015.

Sale prices of co-ops with four or more bedrooms were down 13% to $4.81 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 from the same quarter in 2015. By contrast, the median price of condominiums with four or more bedrooms was up 24% to $8.3 million during the same period.

Write to Josh Barbanel at josh.barbanel@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 04, 2017 10:14 ET (15:14 GMT)

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