Sep 16, 2008

Wall Street Sneezes: Manhattan Catches Cold

It is estimated that about 12,000 Lehman Brothers employees live in NYC. It's generally believed that one Wall Street job helps create two or three other jobs. This multiplier effect will have an impact not only on the financial sector employees who lose jobs, but also on many New Yorkers who are indirectly affected by those job losses... and on the city's tax revenues..

According to Mayor Bloomberg "Even though Wall Street has been struggling for months, the city's unemployment rate is only 5 percent, well below the national average of 6.1 percent. The vacancy rate for Manhattan office space is 5.4 percent, less than half the national average. Tourism, which has declined nationally, is still growing to record levels here in New York City. Real estate values, which have plummeted nationwide, have held fairly steady here".
The real estate market in Manhattan has already been soft. Wall Street bonuses help fuel the Manhattan real estate market every winter. There will be less buyers with bonus money this year. Inventory will most likely increase as some financial workers might have to sell.
Although the financial sector is very important to NYC's economy Manhattan is by no means a 1 industry or company town. We have a diversified economy. Many industries, such as advertising, film, fashion, tourism, media, health care, higher education, bio-science and the arts are based in New York.
The city's economy should remain strong - a lot stronger than in much of the rest of the nation. NYC has prepared for declining revenues by saving surplus revenues in years when revenues exceeded expenses, the city saved as much as possible for the years when it would really need it.
New Yorkers have gotten through the ups and downs of Wall Street before, and we will get through this one too. Our economy is resilient and markets go in cycles. I've lived in Manhattan for 25 years. Real estate has been expensive as long as I've been living here. We've had market down turns but never bargain basement prices. There has always been a demand for housing in Manhattan. Manhattan is a world class city. People from around the country and the world want to live here.
There are many great buying opportunities and for those that can afford too - Now is a great time to buy.


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