Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Hilarious 'Blue Chip Real Estate' Slide Show on

OK. The problem wasn't paying insane amounts that no non-speculator would ever match for residential properties. The problem was that you were doing it in the wrong places. According to Forbes, this is where prices will never, ever go down.
  • New York, NY. Well, not the boroughs. Or the whole Upper East Side. Really, just Fifth Avenue And 70th Street, which is up 325 % since 1990, according to
  • Chicago, Lake Shore Drive and Route 41, 236 %. Oh oh! Only number two, and they've no longer quadrupled!
  • Dallas, University Park, 148 %
  • Philadelphia, Third & Walnut, 184 % -- Hmmm, I'm not sure how these are ordered.
  • San Francisco, El Camino Del Mar and Lake Street, 282 %
  • L.A., Pacific Palisades, 440 %
  • Houston, West University Place, 194 %
  • Miami, Brickell Avenue and 13th, 471 %
  • Phoenix, Village on the Lakes and Taliverde, 177 %
  • D.C., Rock Creek Park and Massachusetts Avenue, 393 %
  • Atlanta, Ponce De Leon & Oakdale, 237 %
  • Detroit, Grosse Point Park, 142 % -- Yes, Detroit
  • Boston, Chelsea & Medford, 221 %
  • Seattle, Laurelhurst, 216 %
  • Minneapolis, Cedar Lake Road and Theodore Wirth Parkway, 197%

This is from the accompanying story:
While gambles on up-and-coming neighborhoods and new developments paid off for many real estate investors during the boom, housing markets across the country are now awash with unsold condos and suffering from sluggish sales.

But this is not the case for homeowners in so-called "blue chip" neighborhoods..... After all, a truly robust market can weather market downturns and grow during market spikes, no matter how many cycles it goes through.

We constrained our data set in two ways. Neighborhoods had to post prices in the city's median range or above in 1990, and the majority of homes in the neighborhood had to be built before 1990.... In some cases, our blue-chip picks encompass a city's priciest area.... Still, in some places, the strongest-growing parts of town were middle- or upper-middle-class areas that were a good value in 1990, have exploded in value since, and are presently proving they can withstand the downward draft.


[H]omes that are smaller [or] apartments... represent affordable buying opportunities in many blue-chip neighborhoods.

The prices are high, but you get what you pay for--especially when it comes time to hang out the "For Sale" sign.
Seriously. Forbes wants you to invest in residential real estate in areas that have quadrupled in value in the last twenty years. While houses are deflating everywhere else. As worthwhile as it would be simply to make fun of a magazine, I bring it up to bolster part of my thesis about Manhattan -- that price collapse will be steep and harsh here in part because speculative investors from the rest of the country are seeking it out as one of the few safe places left.

And, as an aside, this is sort of where Math fails you. You can give a guys a bunch of data and say, "find me safe real estate investments." And, they'll come up with something. But, it's an ill posed question. You have to have a credible theory to work with.

No comments: