Putting Audio & HT on wall floor is $1000 sq ft

Suppose your system speakers are 8 feet apart at their center, and four feet from the wall. You system including components in between can easily use nine by four - 36 square feet - not to mention the space you keep clear in order to not obstruct the sound stage.

Apartments in Manhattan now routinely cost more than $1000 per square foot. Higher quality properties can be $1500 to $2000 per square foot.

So your great stereo or HT system that retails for $30k costs more to support than to purchase new!

Hmmmmm. Ok it's time to ask: are there any effective wall-based audio or HT systems? (The few flat wall mounted speaker systems I've heard sounded thin and lacked soundstage.)

Scary thought. I have the entire front portion of my Manhattan living room devoted to speakers and amps and it is 14.5' wide by 6' deep. That's 87sq.ft. and is in addition to the space for the double-wide equipment rack, record/CD storage and the two surround speakers.

Scary thoughts.

Excellent question! What you are looking for is a near-field system, like a recording engineer's. If you look for speakers that sound good up close, then match electronics to go with them, especially a source that is not too bright on the high end. My experience: i have a large room so it got Dynaudio floor-standers, a large Hsu sub, etc. I recently finished a small library and really am enjoying the Von SChweikert VR-1s, Creek amp and REL sub. The VR-1s sit in a bookshelf and still are spacious and detailed. The REL picks up the bottom end. You could get an excellent audio surround system for less than $4000, not including video. Good luck!
Do what I did fourteen years ago: Move the hell out of NYC and never look back! Best thing I ever did!

Mixing small monitor speakers with a sub can be very dificult to blend with seamless crossover..beware.
I found that the REL Q108E disappears in the room underneath my bookshelf monitors. The trick is to crossover below where you think you should and keep the volume on the sub as low as possible. It is very easy to overdo it and take away from the quality of the rest of the system. There is music I play that doesn't go very low and when I gently feel the subwoofer cone, it is not moving. Subtle is best, and you don't have to spend over a $1000 to get it. Look at REL, Outlaw and SVS subs for a small room. Easy does it!
To be more accurate, you should look at the cost of the space over the life of asset, therefore, I would guess in NYC that you are actually making money on the space used by your equipment through appreciation.

Also, the Von Schweikert VS/1 subs would fit well in terms of space and integration, especially with the VR-1s.
I think it's a bubble at this point (I could believe a small bedroom even at $600k, given the current interest rates, but $900k?!)