Panic Is Fun! First Bear Goes, Then Lehman, Then Condo Market?

The headlines today (for example: "There Will Be Blood"), are enough to make New York real estate obsessives, who are mostly anxious types anyway, go crazy.

This morning, my colleague Tom Acitelli listed six ways today’s Wall Street turmoil will affect real estate (and he listed apartment prices at the top. But Crain’s just went a few steps further by chiming in with an article whose subhead says: "The latest crisis on Wall Street could deal a severe blow to apartment prices in Manhattan."

"The extent of this problem is mind-boggling," one hilariously oft-quoted appraiser says in the article. "The ’09 market, and possibly 2010, are going to be characterized by lower volume and some weakness in price levels." Then the chief economist at Halstead echoes: "People who may have been on the fence are more likely to stay there now."

Not that hysteria isn’t fun, but wouldn’t a slight dip in New York real estate prices over the next year–as long as it’s not too brutal–be a good thing? Wouldn’t a few less ultra-rich finance executives with ultra-absurd bonuses make it easier for (relatively) normal New Yorkers to buy a condo here? And won’t those mammoth bonuses return within a few years anyway? Or maybe $48 million co-ops (and $48,836,000 co-ops) and $30 million downtown penthouses are New York’s God-given right.

Panic Is Fun! First Bear Goes, Then Lehman, Then Condo Market?