The Real Deal New York

Is high-end real estate ‘art’?

August 31, 2012 10:30AM

As the $100 million barrier is approached, one New York Times writer postulates that the real estate market may bear an uncanny resemblance to another sector in which the wealthy have parked their capital since the recession: the art market. “Art is what people are willing to pay for, and an apartment like this is like a piece of art,” Steven Klar, the Long Island real estate developer who recently listed his apartment at CitySpire for $100 million, told the New York Times.

And the family that holds the record for most expensive art purchase in history, the Cezanne’s “The Card Players,” which was picked up by the Qatari royal family for an estimated $250 million, were also rumored to be checking out the real estate market’s equivalent of, uh, a Jeff Koons? (The family considered an apartment at One57 a few weeks ago, but opted for a classic in the end — a $49 million Upper East Side townhouse.)

Not everybody is on board with the real estate market as art market analogy, however.

“There’s absolutely no statistical validity to it,” David Kusin, a former Metropolitan Museum of Art curator, told the Times. “It’s like comparing Earth to Saturn. And I’ve been studying these markets for 18 years.” [NYT] — Guelda Voien