2009: A Year in Real Estate Review

As is customary during the first few days of the New Year, 2009 is to be reflected on and, as far as real estate is concerned, throw it to the backburner and look optimistically to the year ahead.

The general consensus can be made that 2009 was a year of more downs than ups, yet more ups than downs when compared to 2008. From even more foreclosures in Jamaica, Queens to Ivanka Trump’s maybe- trendsetting of celebrity dine-ins with her recently bought Williams-Sonoma $34 bundt cake pan, it has been a tumultuous year for the industry. It is easy to be pessimistic with Community Board 1 in Brooklyn’s stalled construction of 59 sites, which is a multiple more than a tenth of the 522 abandoned sites in the entire city. Hey, at least construction-related deaths decreased dramatically last year, with a hardly-worth-fretting-over three fatalities reported in 2009. Compared to the 19 reported deaths in 2008 and 12 reported in 2007, it is unanimously agreed that this past year was easier to swallow.

Thankfully, with the foreclosures came actual sales; however, whether or not it was a bargain price is still debatable. Hedge fund mogul and founder of Citadel Investment Group, Kenneth C. Griffin, purchased a $40 million co-op at 820 Fifth Avenue, which was less than the city’s two highest buyers of 2008’s $48 million price tag. But it was still twice the amount of an enormous Midtown apartment building, with the Sheffield57 Building accruing a mere $20 million in debt when August came around.

These are just a few examples of what went wrong (and the few right) in 2009. But things are looking up, there’s still that Trump Avenue penthouse that was relisted after a month-long hiatus for $31.1 million. Maybe it’ll rank as 2010’s highest-priced apartment to sell, but who knows? Come January of 2001, we’ll let you know.

Via: NY Times