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European Withdrawal Signals End Of Luxury Big City Housing Boom

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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PRETTY VACANT Frank Gehry's NYC skyscraper Yesterday, the Dow took a massive tumble—this morning it opened shabbily, based on bad new employment numbers. (Joblessness is back up to 6.1 percent!) And folks on Wall Street have now begun hearing that bonus season may be absolutely zero, zilch, nada. And, if you have visited America's cosmopolitan coastal cities, you will have seen that their skylines are dominated by cranes tied to half-finished high-rise buildings of luxury apartments. Now that the bankers aren't buying, because they're panicked, the real estate markets of big cities have been supported by foreigners buying up "cheap" properties while the dollar stagnates. That's worked well so far, even if it has induced a new kind of casual racism against the Irish. (It's true! Perfectly normal people walking on New York's Park Avenue South will talk about how everyone around them is from Ireland). But now, that party is ending. This could be it, kids! The big collapse!

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