Friday, October 10, 2008

Joel Kotkin on NYC Real Estate

The Observer sits down with Joel Kotkin, the author of The City: A Global History and an authority on urban social trends. The 55-year-old took some time on a recent visit from L.A. to talk about what’s to become of his native New York in a post-boom universe.
"You know, I was walking around the corner [in the Flatiron district], the two-bedroom apartments were still $3,000, $4,000 [monthly]. I mean, who’s got that kind of money?

So, if the prices were allowed to drop, what would happen? More of the young people who are now leaving New York in their 30s might stay; the immigrants who are now leaving New York once they get their feet on the ground, they might stay. You could see a similar scenario as to what happened in L.A. in the ’90s and Houston in the ’80s—which is, the drop in property prices allowed people an opportunity to get into a market that became very affordable. … In L.A. after the ’90s, after the riots and earthquakes and everything, what happened? The middle-class people were finally able to afford nice houses that they could never afford before; and immigrants went and bought everything that wasn’t nailed down."