Posted by Leonard Steinberg on May 6th, 2014

The ultra-high-end Art and Real Estate markets often mirror one another as they are a barometer of the ultra luxury markets. Last night’s auction results at Christie’s may be an insight to what is coming to the Manhattan real estate market where excessive pricing on some not-so-worthy apartments is raising the eyebrows of even the wealthiest buyers.

All predictions that prices were only going up, up, up were negated by a tepid start at Christie’s last night, where some Impressionist and modern art by Picasso, Kandinsky and Dalí brought far less than expected. Two Degas works were left unsold, supposedly victims of estimates that were simply too high…..sound familiar?  I am seeing this in the real estate markets too. Sellers and brokers who are pricing their properties so high, without rhyme or reason, resulting in super-low activity or no activity at all. Hopefully the contemporary art segments of the auctions that are more popular now deliver better results….if they do, would this mirror the trend how buyers of Manhattan real estate will pay a huge premium for modern real estate in full service highly amenitized buildings?

Christie’s opening night should be seen as a reality check to those with unrealistically ambitious pricing ambitions. Ultimately, the market always tells us what something is really worth.