Last week, the New York Times asked "Why the Doorman is Lonely," in an article referencing new figures about New York City's oft-referenced excess of un-lived-in apartments. The upshot is that nearly one quarter of New York City apartments aren't used as primary residences, but are pieds-à-terre, or investment properties rented out to tenants.
So, nothing too surprising, but something else in the piece kind of throws off the narrative that these co-ops and condos are primarily left empty by jet-setting millionaires. According to Jonathan J. Miller, the president of the appraisal firm Miller Samuel, "the vast majority of pieds-à-terre are middle class... owned by people who have a studio in the city and a home in the suburbs, or maybe it was their first apartment that they chose to keep and rent it out." Still, it's pretty incredible that at places like the CitySpire tower, where an $100M penthouse continues to languish on the market, 60 percent of the residential floors made up of investment properties and pieds-à-terre.
Why is the doorman lonely? Probably because he has to stand there all day, for his job. But it still doesn't bode well for him that this new data "reflects the increasing level of income inequality in the city, that you can buy a relatively expensive condo and not have to occupy it all the time."