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NYC Mayoral Candidates Wildly Underestimate Local Home Prices

Ex-HUD chief Shaun Donovan, investment banker Ray McGuire miss the mark big time on Brooklyn
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2021 7:45 AM CDT

(Newser) – Two candidates for New York City mayor had their Lucille Bluth moment this week after they were both wildly off in their estimate on the cost of local housing. The New York Times notes that while neither Shaun Donovan nor Raymond McGuire is considered a frontrunner in the mayoral race, their answers to a question posed by the NYT editorial board to eight candidates have many noting they may not fully understand the plight of working people in their own constituency. The question: What's the current median sales price for a home in Brooklyn? First up was Donovan, who served as the city's housing commissioner under Mayor Michael Bloomberg and ran the Department of Housing and Urban Development under President Obama. "In Brooklyn, huh?" he answered. "I don't [know] for sure. I would guess it is around $100,000."

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McGuire, an investment banker and former Citigroup exec, lowballed it even more: "It's got to be somewhere in the $80,000 to $90,000 range, if not higher." The real cost, per interviewer Mara Gay: $900,000. Curbed, which notes $100,000 is what you'd spend for a parking spot in Brooklyn, was curious if one could even find a New York City home for less than that amount, and after a bit of research found a total of seven listings: one in Queens and six in the Bronx. The Times notes that of the other candidates, Maya Wiley, a former counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio, overshot the cost, guessing $1.8 million, while ex-sanitation chief Kathryn Garcia, whom the Times endorsed, came close with $800,000. Other guesses: $550,000 (Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams); $500,000 (ex-nonprofit exec Dianne Morales; and $1 million (NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer). One candidate got it exactly right: entrepreneur Andrew Yang, who's been accused in the past of being out of touch. (Read more mayoral race stories.)

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