100 Barrow in West Village, Manhattan by Toll Brothers City Living
100 Barrow in West Village, Manhattan by Toll Brothers City Living

Major American cities - thanks to an influx of population, job opportunity, etc. - provide ideal locations for “luxury urban housing.” Growth in new development of these extravagant apartments nourishes a “return to the city” ideology. According to Joel Kotkin, contributor at The Daily Beast, many assumed that luxury housing falls under the Early Bird Special. Anecdotes released by media sources depict Grandpa and Grandma, in their golden years of accumulated wealth, retiring to a five-star condominium along the Atlantic Ocean. Census trends among 65 plus-ers, though, paint a very different picture. Our elders seem to prefer the quiet life of suburbs and exurbs.

Urban luxury housing has been, instead, scooped up by wealthy foreign nationals, for investment purposes. Innocent at first glance, this type of investment can depend on volatile economies. In the 21st century’s globalized system, unrest in one region can lead to market upset in another. Even the city that never sleeps has been experiencing some drowsiness in the construction industry. Manhattan projects are being shelved, conversions of commercial office towers into condos forestalled, and sales within the luxury market, according to consultant firm Miller Samuel, are predicted to waver over the next five years. Celebrating the surge in luxury housing development may turn into idolizing a façade, with a party that leaves behind vacant homes stuffed with poorly placed investment.

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