Manhattan Rents Fall For Rich; Rest of Us Remain Screwed


The Times says, “Sharp Price Drops in Manhattan Apartments.” Regular Runnin’ Scared readers know what that means: the Times’ real target audience, rich people, are paying less now for their townmansions and gargantuaplexes — which doesn’t mean that you will. In fact, for you it will probably make things worse.

The Observer starkly lays it out like a death toll:

Prudential Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel:

Average sales price: $1,312,920
-21.4 percent from 2Q 2008

Median sales price: $835,700
-18.5 percent …

Makes you want to cry, doesn’t it? New condo sales are reported down 61.7 percent, and the median sales price for Manhattan properties has fallen 19 percent in a year — all the way down to $795,000.

There are two ways of looking at this. If you believe strongly in trickle-down economics, you may also believe that housing relief enjoyed by swells will eventually, through Reagan magic, devolve to you, too. Or you may consider that the well-to-do live in a Candyland where even historical recessions have their silver linings, and they will enjoy this high-end rent collapse as an ordinary person would enjoy unexpectedly finding a quarter behind the sofa-cushions. The rest of us, meanwhile, swirl screaming down the drain. Here’s a video of a realtor shilling an East 7th Street studio for $1,450. It has “freshly-painted walls,” he tells us, and a “loft area” (i.e., a shelf over the bathroom). Think he’s worried?