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Manhattan Real Estate is Doomed to Repeat the 1930s

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Here's a not entirely welcome history lesson: New York City's real estate market post-Lehman seems condemned to repeat what it went through in the years after the market crash of 1929. The Times pulls out some numbers from appraiser/Curbed graph guru Jonathan Miller's analysis of 100 years of Prudential Douglas Elliman market data (happy centennial, friend). Sales prices in the 1930s fell to $15/square foot, down from a 1920s high of $46/square foot. The numbers today are at another level altogether?dropping to $1,070/square foot from the last decade's peak of $1,531/square foot?but they echo that fall. It took almost 20 years for sales prices to return from their Depression lows, and in the meantime, even wealthy folks like John D. Rockefeller Jr. opted to rent.

Then there's the other component of market analysis: the real estate industry's feelings about how the market is doing. We asked JMillz for some deleted scenes from his investigation of the market's history.
1927: “With the continued prosperity of the country as a whole and the tremendous activity in Wall Street, there is no reason why the new year should not be an extremely prosperous one in the real estate field."?Douglas L. Elliman quoted in the Times
1930: One year after the stock market crash, Douglas L. Elliman & Co., Inc. reported that co-operative housing market sales volume fell 30% year-over-year.?NYT
1931: “It is a time of great mistrust and loose gossip, but with steady hands at the helm, real estate is bound to weather the storm with credit.”?NYT
1931: Rental market for high end property reported to be strong. Recordings for mortgages showing rates of 5.5% to 6%.?NYT

· In an Earlier Time of Boom and Bust, Rentals Also Gained Favor [NYT]
· Market Analysis coverage [Curbed]