Either the housing crisis is coming to an end or the apocalypse has arrived. The N.Y.U. economist who predicted the housing bubble’s spectacular burst has bought a $5.5 million condo in the East Village.
Nouriel Roubini (a.k.a. Dr. Doom) who only recently opined on a possible second crisis in the housing market and in 2006 sung the praises of the rental market, apparently has contradicted both pieces of advice, plunking his cash in the most expensive condo recently on the market in the East Village. Of course, it should be noted that faith in the stratified realm that is Manhattan’s luxury residential real estate market is by no means the same as believing the housing market in general is in good shape.
Almost as much fun as watching the blogosphere go wild over the news is reading business wires regurgitating broker babble with a straight face. Apparently they’re unaware that every apartment is “sun-drenched” and “amazing.” Though The Observer concedes it’s not every day we read about a cantilevered staircase.
But what’s more interesting is that Mr. Roubini has apparently fallen prey to the urge to overpay for the privilege of owning one’s very own spot of coveted Manhattan turf. Reuters blogger Felix Salmon crunches the numbers and points out that, like most in the city, Mr. Roubini would have been better off renting.
Nothing gets us in the holiday spirit like pettily poking fun at another’s good fortune. But let’s pause for a moment to point out that buying is almost always irrational, but experts and lay people alike do it for other than purely financial reasons. Sure, Mr. Roubini could have rented the place for $25,000 a month, but we suspect the hard-partying economist, whose basically a god by now, knows something about bragging rights.
laurakusisto[at]observer.com; @Laura Kusisto