Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Not Such an Unusual Thing Anymore...

While I don't think I quite have the reputation of being on the hunt for a rich husband, I just might want to consider it, lest I be left out of an apparent general trend in Society of which I have been painfully unaware (see full text here):

Thanks to a strong global economy, people today also have more money to blow on non-investment property. According to the most recent World Wealth Report compiled by Merrill Lynch and consulting firm Capgemini Group, the combined wealth of those with more than $1 million in investable assets rose more than 11% in 2006 to $37.2 trillion -- the first double-digit increase in seven years. The number of "ultra high net worth" individuals (investable assets of at least $30 million) jumped 11.3% in 2006 to 94,970, and their asset pool increased by 16.8% to $13.1 trillion.

"The $20,000 rental is not such an unusual thing anymore," says Stephen Kotler, an executive vice president at Prudential Douglas Elliman in New York City.

In the past two years, Kotler says, rentals at both the $20,000 per month level and the $40,000-plus level have increased in number in Manhattan. There you can pay as much as $120,000 a month, the going rent for apartment 33A at the Waldorf Towers, which has been home to both Frank Sinatra and Cole Porter. The Waldorf Towers are the super-luxury, high-security, residential component of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, which is owned by Hilton Hotels.

Because the housing market in Manhattan has been and continues to be very strong, there is a shortage of four- and five-bedroom apartments on the market, pushing rents on the few available rental properties up even further, Kotler notes.

I miss my SVA days (although I was a lowly "commuter student", unable to afford even a dingy room-with-basin at the Sloane House YMCA), but with housing prices like these, I don't envy the bevy of metropolitan Manhattan bloggers whom I regularly read. [I included that hyperlink to SVA lest some think it was some New Deal–era public works project with which I was affiliated during the Great Depression.]
I do, however, sometimes envy my recently child-encumbered youngest brother, who lives within a stone's throw of one of what seems to be 22,000 Buckeye State institutions of higher education that houses a school which advertises one of its stated aims to be "to critically examine the root causes of human suffering."
I'm pretty sure that one of the root causes of my suffering is pondering that a single month of someone's $120K/month NYC apartment could cover the cost of my humble shack for a good ten years.
Post Script: I am so sad! I discovered that even the infamous Sloane House—once home to generations of impoverished students—has been converted. Ah Bartleby! Ah humanity!


Huntington said...

"Do you have a vacancy/for a back scroober?"

Don't be misled...those schools with such admirable mission statements clearly are dens of misadministration and incipient decertification. *sigh*

And we all know you spent the Great Depression as Ramon Novarro's houseboy, a position not underwritten by the WPA.

Junk Thief said...

$20K/month for rent? My first house in the Midwest cost less than that, albeit back in 1988. No wonder "sub-prime" is in crisis. Nobody's really that rich, or atleast within my circle. I'm considered a land baron among my friends since I'm the only one in our SF circle with enough room for a dining table in my abode. Woo hoo.

BigAssBelle said...

$120,000 per month for RENT??? that is truly offensively, genuinely, absolutely obscene. obscene. i would be ashamed to be ensconced in such a place even if i could afford it.