Reports on the Manhattan market came out from major real estate brokerage and appraisal houses this week, and the new data suggest a possible cooling in the borough's apartment sales market, as average sales prices dropped in recent months. But the market is still strong, and all eyes look to Wall Street year-end bonus tallies as a possible measure of future demand, since much of the city's real estate market is tied to that wealth. In the third quarter, the average sales price for Manhattan apartments declined for the first time in 10 consecutive quarters, falling 3.9% from the previous quarter to about $1.09 million, according to Mitchell Maxwell & Jackson, New York's largest residential real estate appraisal company. Not only did prices drop, but so did overall sales, the firm says. "The biggest story is this sustained and significant drop-off in sales volume. You're seeing demand dry off rather quickly," says Jeffrey Jackson, chairman of Mitchell Maxwell & Jackson. The firm's sales volume index dropped 32% from the second to third quarter. The data also show that sales of condos and co-ops peaked in the second quarter of 2004 and have been declining ever since. For high-end apartments, more prospective buyers are choosing a wait-and-see attitude with regards to where prices might be going, Jackson says, while on the bottom rung of apartment sales, more people are being priced out of the market. Plus, the high-end market is being affected by the plethora of new state-of-the-art luxury condos popping up across Manhattan. Sales have been strong for the new offerings, cannibalizing some of the demand for older luxury units on the resale market. "There is a huge movement in demand for newer more technologically advanced apartments," Jackson says.