With the outsize bonus returning to Wall Street this year, brokers and sellers from downtown lofts to Hamptons mansions are holding their breath. For the past few months there have been signs that the market is reawakening, and an infusion of “banker cash” could be just the catalyst it needs to spark a full-fledged recovery. “The bankers are back,” said Pamela Liebman, the president of the Corcoran Group. But, she said, this year the effect is “more about the confidence than the cash.”…By that she means that reports of large bonus pools at Wall Street firms have contributed to an overall sense among prospective buyers that things are getting better, not worse. And brokers say that the rise of the stock market last year, along with very low mortgage rates and prices that have sunk a good 20 to 25 percent below 2007 highs, had already started to calm the nerves of buyers at all income levels. Now there is a growing sense that the best deals will be history once the bonus buyers start signing contracts.
By Hilary Stout, Feb. 4, 2010 NYT

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