Yesterday, another New York art auction went poorly, with a Christie’s sale bringing in $146.7 million against a “low” estimate of $240.7 million. “Of the 82 works for sale, 36, or more than 40 percent, of the auction went unsold,” the Times reports. The sale, the third poor performance of the week, bodes poorly for New York City’s high-end real-estate market.

Why? Just consider what the Times magazine had to say about a new apartment building in Brooklyn in an article that ran a year and a half ago.

[Developer Mario] Procida is marketing it like a little outpost of Manhattan, importing a voguish sales tool from across the river: the idea of packaging apartments as inhabitable art. … The working theory is that in an uncertain economy, at a moment when the real estate market seems to be cooling, it’s smartest to bet on those who worry about money the least, building for the rich and their high-end tastes.

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The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

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