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Saturday, October 11, 2008

On Shaky Ground

Apartment buildings, Brooklyn
Photo by myself in Brooklyn, around Sunset Park.

I'm not sure whether the above photo shows subsidized housing or not, but you have to love the fake grass lining some of the balconies.

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At the end of another week, it feels like the sky is falling.

I hear that landlords are cutting prices of rental apartments by hundreds of dollars, in order to lock tenants into a lease. In all the time I've lived in New York, I've not heard of such a thing.

New Yorkers always talk of the real estate here as its own animal, immune to the larger economy. Not so.

I've heard that many architectural offices that have let people go. Other employees are grumbling about the pithy raises they received, being short-handed or completely overworked. Meanwhile, clients are grumbling and avoiding phone calls.

Times are scary, people. Hopefully we'll hit bottom soon, so we can make the long journey upwards.

Related posts: Rent, The Rat Race and The Sky is Falling.

12 comments:

Wayne said...

The astro turf is very weird. I've seen folks on lower floors occasionally put up a barrier of some sort for privacy but this is odd.

I worked with landlords for 25 years, they don't lower rents. They might not always raise them but they don't lower them. Times may be worse than I thought and I thought they were pretty bad.

Virginia said...

LIke the fake grass is fooling anybody? YOu're on the 25th floor and grass is growing out of your concret? Well I guess the city dwellers get desperate for a little nature.

Lissa said...

I'm planning a move to NYC for the late winter/early spring -- and am constantly checking Craig's List and Real Estate sites for trends. Neighborhoods (and individual buildings) that were far beyond my single-salary price range are now at the mid-point of what I'm looking to spend. From $4000+ to $19-$2,300? I'm not expecting it to last, but what I've seen in the last two weeks indicates a scramble to hold onto tenants - and a mass exodus of folks who no longer have jobs.

Kitty said...

Hi Wayne
I think when you're so far up, it's reassuring to have an enclosed balcony rather than itty bitty railings? Personally I prefer living closer to the ground!

That's scary about the 25 year history of rent. I've heard of enticements but price cuts are a last resort.

Hi Virginia
hehe. Fake nature is better than no nature, I guess.

Hi Lissa
Good luck with your move into NYC! If you have a job waiting for you you don't have anything to lose. It's a wonderful place to live, I have to say.

From the stories I hear, the less experienced, younger employees are having a tough time. Their budgets are already stressed and they have little savings.

In those situations a roommate would be a good or bad thing - if you can only afford 1/2 the rent and your roommate becomes unemployed, you're affected as well.

It'd be great if that's the worst of it but I am not optimistic.

Islipian said...

Yes, a double-edged sword. I'm hoping for real estate to stabilize as I will be listing my house by January (oh my gosh, that's so soon!)...but when I'm looking to rent in Brooklyn by summer, I'll be hoping rents will have come down a bit. So...at least I'll win on one, even if I lose on the other.

Bettye < TRYING to find the silver lining

Tammy said...

Those buildings are so high! I'm getting dizzy just looking at them.

Lady Di Tn said...

Nice to hear some good in this bad economic times. Maybe they were charging too much for rent to begin with. Glad you explained the green. Peace

Jana said...

The fake grass is great!!!

It must be a difficult time in NYC right now. The lowering of rent is very unexpected. Hopefully people aren't losing their jobs.

Lily Hydrangea said...

I think that green "stuff" on the balconies could resemble hedges. in LI, storage lots use it to decorate their fences hoping to appease their neighbors.
I think now would be a great time to move to the city if you have a job. Ultimately you would be saving thousands if you were able to secure a lease for a year or two.
I agree with Bettye, we have to look for the silver lining.

Lissa said...

Hello Kitty, thanks very much for the advice! I do have a job waiting for me, actually -- a promotion at my org. comes with a Manhattan-based string attached. I am really looking forward to it.

Kris said...

I would have hated to grow up in one of these. Where do you play?

tr3nta said...

unbelievable this buildings just look like some 50's Madrid buildings...