Just as the real estate market in Manhattan and its adjacent boroughs was about to recover from the COVID-19 hit — boom — another body blow. This one may not be as quick to remedy. As news of another weekend of violence trickles in, there is concern that some of the highest priced real estate in the country is ready to take a nose-dive.
President Donald Trump hit the Twitter button to warn Mayor Bill de Blasio of his recklessness on Aug. 17: “Law and Order. If @NYCMayor can’t do it, we will!” In a short time, de Blasio appears to be eradicating decades of work that made the New York metro area one of the finest urban centers to live in the country.
To what is the president referring? A report by the New York City Fox affiliate, which tallied 43 shootings rolling in from the five boroughs this weekend — 30 of which occurred in Manhattan. This, it said, is “ten times the number over the same weekend in 2019.”
Meanwhile, the editorial board of the New York Post fired away at the mayor with an opinion piece:
“COVID, the anti-police rioting and the crime wave have delivered powerful blows to the city. They created terror on the streets, socked businesses, wrecked city finances, crippled schooling — and sent people scurrying for the exits.”
In this editorial, they linked to a previous one written by the board and published on Aug. 11. The Post worried collectively, “It’s not just a few Upper West Siders who are fleeing New York: Moving companies say they’re swamped with calls from residents looking to ditch the city …” The Upper West Side — once a tony area — now is “teeming with junkies, the homeless, convicts, and others.”
To make matters worse, the New York Post editorial board insisted the problem is systemic, flowing down rapidly from the politicos to the courts. To wit:
“City and state officials have fueled crime, setting inmates at jails and prisons free and handcuffing cops, and they refuse to do anything meaningful to roll it back. Prosecutors, too, are declining to prosecute. Judges are letting suspects walk.”
No More Walk to the Park
Last week on Fox, host Dana Perino reported to viewers that a friend of hers walked out onto the streets of Manhattan only to have a homeless man assault her. A few days later, the woman left her apartment holding the hand of her little girl, and the same thing happened. The woman took her child and fled to the home of a family member who lives in the suburbs. Now and not surprisingly, according to Perino, the woman is putting her Manhattan apartment up for sale.
It took a long time and a lot of effort to make New York a desirable urban area where people wanted to live, and all that is unraveling at a rapid pace. Liberty Nation’s Washington Political Columnist Tim Donner grew up in Manhattan and remembers the days when the city was a rat-infested, crime-ridden experience:
“No matter where you lived in the city in those harrowing days of the early 1970s, the trash piled up in every nook and cranny with garbage workers on strike, vermin omnipresent, chaos always just a beat away. Mayor John Lindsay lost control, and an exodus out of the city led many to believe the city would never return to its former glory.”
From 2010 to 2020 — the years when Brooklyn reportedly “came of age” — real estate prices in NYC nearly doubled. But that is not likely to continue should a mass exodus occur. After all, how many want to live in a city where they feel personally threatened by merely walking out of their apartment and into the street?
Norada Real Estate Investments, which covers the New York housing market, reported on Aug. 2, “Any homeowner looking to cash out and sell off their property should do it in the current phase.” The trend to cash out, move out, and catch the next train to the ‘burbs will mean hard economic times for the Big Apple, and it’s more than possible that the roaring ‘20s will fizzle should de Blasio and friends continue letting criminals run roughshod over city dwellers. In urban centers, both big and small, mayors like de Blasio should realize that crime does not pay.
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.