Canaries In Coal Mines

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
Historically when markets have declined there were certain buildings and locations where it showed up first, whereas so called Blue Chip properties held their values longer and firmer.

Some past examples were:
77 Bleeker Street (we bought a full 1 BR for $80,000)
250 Mercer Street (we bought a full 1 BR under $100,000)
407 Park Avenue South (1 BR $47,000)
200 West 20th Street (6 studios traded between $27,000 and $42,000)
Tudor City (boatloads if studios between $8,000 to $20,000)
345 Montgomery Street (we bought a 2 BR for $2.50)

I could list a bunch more, but my point is that if you want to read tea leaves about the Real Estate market do what coal miners did when they wanted an early warning. See what's happening with the canary.

Do we see more weakness in buildings with certain faults? For example buildings with off locations, higher than expected maintenance, history of litigation (like 19 - 23 West 9th Street), etc. Buildings which historically fell significantly farther than the rest of the market in prior downturns.

Are there other criteria I have left out to be a canary? Land lease? What else? And are we seeing any canaries start to wobble on their perches yet?