Two areas seem to fare better in the current housing downturn --places that missed the boom and select premium districts in globalgateways where demand remains strong. Off the radar screenneighborhoods had avoided speculation and bidding frenzies. Thefact that values haven't dropped as much may not necessarily begood news -- they're just not places to which people gravitatewhether in good or bad times.

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Not surprisingly it's premium addresses in the handful of24-hour global metros which not only hold value, but also evenexperience pricing upswings. Certain established Manhattanneighborhoods stand out as premier examples of seemingly imperviousgold-plate fortresses, particularly along Fifth Avenue, CentralPark West and Park Avenue. In a building I know well, recentapartments still transact at closing above original asking prices.Bidding wars continue in established coops for coveted two andthree bedroom apartments -- enough dollars have flowed through fromyear-end Wall Street bonuses to keep demand strong among the sliverof cash buyers remaining. Some investment bankers and white shoelawyers desperately seek extra bedrooms for growing families.Meanwhile, foreign money taking advantage of the weak dollar andlooking for prime U.S. beachheads sustains Manhattan's condobuying... for now.

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But the Wall Street scene continues to deteriorate as the creditcrisis spreads beyond subprime. The real impact on jobs and incomeswill hit during 2008. Condo developers look like they have overshotin Manhattan. There are just too many cranes and constructionprojects around town given the gloomy financial climate. At co-opboard meetings, everyone wonders how long prices will hold up.Lesser addresses start to feel the pinch from tightening creditrequirements. This past Sunday's New York Times' real estatesection crowed now is a good time to buy.

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Well, expect the buyer's market to get better. Even those goldplated addresses could be tarnished -- not a crash, but a levelingoff, even a slight dip.

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© Miller Ryan LLC 2008

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Jonathan D. Miller

A marketing communication strategist who turned to real estate analysis, Jonathan D. Miller is a foremost interpreter of 21st citistate futures – cities and suburbs alike – seen through the lens of lifestyles and market realities. For more than 20 years (1992-2013), Miller authored Emerging Trends in Real Estate, the leading commercial real estate industry outlook report, published annually by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Urban Land Institute (ULI). He has lectures frequently on trends in real estate, including the future of America's major 24-hour urban centers and sprawling suburbs. He also has been author of ULI’s annual forecasts on infrastructure and its What’s Next? series of forecasts. On a weekly basis, he writes the Trendczar blog for GlobeStreet.com, the real estate news website. Outside his published forecasting work, Miller is a prominent communications/institutional investor-marketing strategist and partner in Miller Ryan LLC, helping corporate clients develop and execute branding and communications programs. He led the re-branding of GMAC Commercial Mortgage to Capmark Financial Group Inc. and he was part of the management team that helped build Equitable Real Estate Investment Management, Inc. (subsequently Lend Lease Real Estate Investments, Inc.) into the leading real estate advisor to pension funds and other real institutional investors. He joined the Equitable Life Assurance Society of the U.S. in 1981, moving to Equitable Real Estate in 1984 as head of Corporate/Marketing Communications. In the 1980's he managed relations for several of the country's most prominent real estate developments including New York's Trump Tower and the Equitable Center. Earlier in his career, Miller was a reporter for Gannett Newspapers. He is a member of the Citistates Group and a board member of NYC Outward Bound Schools and the Center for Employment Opportunities.