New York City real estate is too expensive for anyone. Manhattan is the most expensive portion of that. Logic tells us that no one, then, can afford Manhattan apartments. So who buys all these places then? International bazillionaires, of course.
Your problem, my friend, is that you are thinking like a normal person. A normal persons says, "Hm, don't think I can afford to buy Steven Cohen's $98 million apartment, which, by the way, he only paid $13 million for in 2005, and, by the way, he is probably one of America's greatest financial criminals, so how is that even fair?" See, that sort of defeatist normal person attitude is why you will probably never own an apartment that looks like a hotel conference room and costs about the same as a mid-sized regional manufacturing company. Instead, you need to look on the bright side, like this Manhattan realtor quoted by Bloomberg today:
"There's definitely an argument to be made that some apartments are asking prices that make absolutely no sense whatsoever," said Leonard Steinberg, a luxury broker with Douglas Elliman Real Estate in New York. "Everybody wants $100 million for their apartment these days. The good news is that $100 million is, what — 60 million pounds? Only 73 million Euros? So on world standards, it's still a pretty good buy."