Housing in Crisis, Part 1

$1.4 million. This is the average sale price of an apartment in New York City in fall 2008. However (or perhaps "obviously") the classic indicators of the real estate market point to an impending drop.

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Listing inventory is up 34% (according to Jonathan Miller, president of New York real estate firm Miller Samuel). The number of deals is on its way down. And the fact that this quarter's average price is more than the same quarter a year ago simply points to a skew: there was a proliferation of deals in new ultra-luxury high-rises that had closed before the economic downturn, according to a recent and quite well-liked piece on Money.CNN.com. Perhaps the next year presents a good time to buy in New York for the restrained ones choosing free office coffee over daily $5.00 cappuccinos.

Though perhaps it's also a time for New Yorkers to take their money and run. Because the second piece of good news: the rest of America, which rather notoriously costs less, is not exactly getting more expensive either.

For the next four Mondays I'll be focusing my attention towards the now universal subject, "Housing in Crisis". Because we're all putting thought into our dollars, where they live, and where we live. If you have anecdotes to share—about steals, deals, creative approaches to finding a nice place to rest your head, or the quirky characters who agent deals on those homes, please do.

Image courtesy wmliu.

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