Hedge fund baron Paul Singer: “London, Manhattan, Aspen, and East Hampton real estate, and art, prices [show] leading edge of hyperinflation.”

There are a bunch of reasons to believe that his theory is wrong, but one that I think is under-appreciated is this:

Those are specific markets seeing a dramatic influx of ultra-high-net-worth buyers from overseas–China, Russia, and certain other nations. You can see this vividly in this week’s art auctions in New York, and it’s been obvious in London real estate for some time.

Another: “30% of all apartments 49th-70th Streets between Fifth and Park are vacant at least 10 months a year.”

So price rises in these specific assets can likely be explained by simple supply and demand without requiring inflation, hyper or otherwise. Therefore, price rises in these assets do not necessarily indicate much of anything about the domestic macroeconomic situation.

In fact, an obvious “bullish on America” argument here: Capital fleeing other countries and landing specifically in US (& UK!) real estate. Further, these asset prices may be explainable quite independently of the various QE and inequality debates happening within the US.

On a global economic scale, the total value of this specific real estate in addition to art is not that large. Prices are easily altered by capital flows.

Source Tweets: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10

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