NYC Taxi Medallions Sell for Whopping $1M Each

They were purchased for $80K each
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2011 12:55 PM CDT
Taxis pass a section of Times Square once dominated by sex shops on December 6, 2010 in New York City.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – If you’re looking for a good return on your investment, consider New York City taxicabs. Two taxi medallions, which you need in order to operate a cab, were sold yesterday for the record-breaking amount of $1 million each. Considering the first batch of medallions went for $10 ($157.50 adjusted to today’s dollars) in 1937, that means the value is up 1900%—or more than the Dow Jones, gold, oil, and US houses. The seller had purchased the medallions for $80,000 each in the 1980s, the New York Times reports. They are corporate medallions, meaning their owner can lease out the cabs and does not have to drive them.

The original owner was offered $975,000 each, but wanted more—and Nat Goldbetter, the taxi financing specialist who brokered the deal, was sure he could get more, since many medallion owners are reluctant to sell out of hope the price will continue to rise. Goldbetter also brokered the first $100,000 medallion sale in 1985. Unfortunately, the young Hong Kong immigrant who bought that one sold his just two years later for $125,000, and ended up just about breaking even. Hearing of the $1 million sale, his wife said, “I don’t want to hear about it. I have to sleep tonight.”

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