It's big news, of course, but the ongoing recovery in the market for Manhattan luxury condos is not exactly news at this point. But what started as a series of anecdotal incidences -- near-ubiquitous price chops replaced by price hikes at buildings like The Apthorp; the consumer confidence reflected in the preference for condos over co-ops; the continued strength of the international market -- has recently become something a lot more measurable. Between the increasingly rapid absorption rate of Manhattan condo listings and the booming market in high-end luxury condo listings, though, the bounce-back in Manhattan real estate is increasingly tough to miss. In that sense, the surge in Manhattan apartment sales in the second quarter reported by the Wall Street Journal's Josh Barbanel isn't exactly a surprise. But the scale of that surge, on the other hand, is both big news and good news. More and more, the recovery in NYC real estate is looking official. "A Wall Street Journal review of closed-sales filings with New York City Department of Finance shows that during the second quarter, which ends June 30, sales were running 80% above the pace reported a year ago," Barbanel writes.