In the past few years, New York City’s frenzied love affair with real estate fueled a veritable geyser of cocktail party/water cooler/diaper circuit chatter. In these circles, who bought what and for how much was far more fascinating than the mating preferences of celebrities or the dark machinations of Dick Cheney. Flash forward to the winter and now spring of our proliferating discontent: the median sales prices of co-ops have plunged more than 20 percent in six months with no bungee cord in sight, buyers are abandoning six-figure deposits on new condos, and sellers stranded with underwater properties are feeling like victims of a Ponzi scheme. The toupee is off, and in the flat gray light of the morning after, real estate looks a lot like tech stocks in the aftermath of the Internet boom.
By Terri Karush Rogers, April 19, 2009, NYT

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