Two New York City mayoral candidates simultaneously made a political misstep claiming that the average price for a house in Brooklyn was $100,000. They were severely mocked for their massive miscalculation.
On Tuesday, The New York Times published interviews conducted with all of the candidates that are seeking the Democratic nomination in the mayor’s race. And there are a lot of them this year. But two stood out as notably out of touch with what it costs to buy a home in New York City.
Ex-Citigroup investment banker Ray McGuire and former Obama cabinet member Shaun Donovan both embarrassingly failed in answering one of the questions by The New York Times editorial board. Member Mara Gay asked them to name the average price of a home in Brooklyn.
“It’s got to be somewhere in the $80,000 to $90,000 range, if not higher,” McGuire unbelievably stated. McGuire did correctly estimate the median rental price for an apartment in Manhattan would be $3,000 per month.
(Video Credit: NBC News)
“In Brooklyn, huh? I don’t [know] for sure,” Donovan replied. “I would guess it is around $100,000.” When he was told what the correct answer was, Donovan said, “Median home? Including apartments?”
Later Donovan would try and walk the gaffe back with an email stating that he was ostensibly referring to assessed values of Brooklyn homes. “I really don’t think you can buy a house in Brooklyn today for that little,” he claimed.
Neither answer was even close to being correct. The average cost of a home in Brooklyn is reportedly hovering around $900,000.
Ironically, Donovan served as Obama’s secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
The other candidates’ responses were all over the place: $550,000 from Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams, $800,000 from former sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia, $1 million from comptroller Scott Stringer, $500,000 from former nonprofit executive Dianne Morales, and $1.8 million from Maya Wiley, who is a former counsel to the mayor. Andrew Yang was the only one to get the amount exactly right.
“This is, like, blowing my mind, this question. So median home — could be any size, right? So some of them would be very substantial. But you’re looking at the median, so you have to, like, whittle down,” Yang noted. “I would just say that the median — it’s going to be something, like, much higher than it should be. So the number that popped into my mind is $900,000.”
Yang is the frontrunner to replace beleaguered Mayor DeBlasio. He’s facing off with a dozen other candidates for the job within his own party with primaries set for June 22, 2021.
He is billed as a moderate but has very progressive stances nonetheless. He has previously advocated a universal basic income and he’s promoting something very similar for New York. Yang has a goal to create a $1 billion cash relief program for the 500,000 poorest in New York. He would reportedly give them approximately $2,000 a year. He also wants to create a “People’s Bank.” But despite his progressive ideas, New Yorkers allegedly believe he would be too soft on corporate New York, real estate developers, and on police reform.
Twitter blasted both McGuire and Donovan for being so clueless concerning real estate prices in New York City:
Depending on the apartment, you can spend $100k on rent in 2-4 years. https://t.co/3ehUPXDPpv
— Ashley C. Ford (@iSmashFizzle) May 11, 2021
how much could a banana cost? one hundred thousand dollars? https://t.co/vuvAi5lfsa
— Alex Burns (@alexburnsNYT) May 11, 2021
NYC's mayoral race is out of my coverage lane, but I know enough about elections to know that getting tons of attention for whiffing this badly on a core issue to voters is not going to help you break out of the pack. https://t.co/7CUpjg0vDl
— Garrett Haake (@GarrettHaake) May 11, 2021
This was so striking. Most of the candidates — including Brooklyn's borough president — didn't even come close to the right number. Garcia was in the ballpark. Yang, "the math guy," thought it through out loud and was the only candidate to nail it. https://t.co/TMzBLnKxRI
— Binyamin Appelbaum (@BCAppelbaum) May 11, 2021
I legitimately don’t understand how they got this so profoundly wrong?? new york is notoriously expensive?????? is there a second brooklyn i do not know about???????????????????? https://t.co/hM9f3du51Y
— Scaachi (@Scaachi) May 11, 2021
The cheapest Brooklyn listing on Zillow is for $100,000.
It’s a parking space. https://t.co/27XAh6ZXdJ pic.twitter.com/2pvRC6RyJi
— Scott Bixby (@scottbix) May 11, 2021
How do you start an affordable housing discussion with candidates who think you can buy a home in Brooklyn for $100,000? https://t.co/1MjIbqx4es
— Pat Kiernan (@patkiernan) May 11, 2021
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