The Mutant Brooklyn Real Estate Bubble

Loved this New York Magazine article (by Adam Sternbergh) about Brooklyn real estate class warfare. Amazing that a reporter managed to conjure a cover story from the comments section of a local real estate blog, but the crazy thing is, I can almost picture the movie version.

The What is a troll who haunts Brownstoner.com, a Brooklyn real estate blog, as an avenging spectre of the real estate apocalypse to come:

The What’s favorite—and possibly only—subject of interest is the coming Brooklyn Apocalypse. He calls it the Mutant Real Estate Bubble. From the beginning, he has contended vehemently, and repetitiously, and often profanely, that there’s a massive correction coming to the real-estate market that will swallow the borough’s fresh-faced transplants and their artfully renovated brownstones as surely as if a chasm had opened up in the earth. Which, of course, means an end to the whole happy vision of recent Brooklyn: the flowering neighborhoods, the skyrocketing prices, the dissipating crime. To The What, Mr. Brownstoner and his readers are snoozing blissfully, lost in this intoxicating dream. And The What is the alarm clock.

…He’s posted comments such as, “Real Estate is fucking over!!!!! Real Estate is fucking over!!!!! Real Estate is fucking over!!!!! Real Estate is fucking over!!!!!” His posting style is so schizophrenic that one might suspect he is either (a) several very different people posting under the same name or (b) schizophrenic. He sometimes sounds like he’s locked in a basement somewhere, surrounded by newspaper clippings on all four walls. He touches down in comment threads like a rhetorical Tasmanian devil…

I am the ultimate wet-blanket Irrational-Exuberance believer — I was warning about the real estate bubble so early that arguably, I should not get any credit for it because anyone who listened to me would’ve lost about 8 years of huge profits. But I don’t in fact think the NYC housing market is really going to crash; I’m convinced that the global-finance world capitals now play by completely different rules than everywhere else. But (see Sha Na Na post), what do I know.

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