tough times in mini-loft market? or just at 21 East 22 Street & 77 Bleecker Street

eerie parallels
One of the fun things about the (typically) weekly updates I do to the Master List of Manhattan Lofts Sold Since November 2008 is the opportunity to notice coincidences, and (sometimes) the beginning of trends. This pair of Manhattan loft sales is much more likely to be an odd coincidence than a trend: the two mini-lofts #1029E at 77 Bleecker Street (Bleecker Court) and #2E at 21 East 22 Street 

  • sold within two days of each other,
  • at prices within $5,000 of each other,
  • after both having come to market within 8 days of each other 17 months ago,
  • starting way back when at asking prices of $700,000 and $750,000,
  • with final asking prices within 4,000 of each other.

Apart from the joys in synchronicity, maybe all that these two Manhattan loft sales tell us is the same old, same old: well-priced lofts sell; others don’t (right away).

The shared history looks like this (omitting several periods off the market; with one contract date* from our data base):

#1029E   new to market May 5, 2010 $750,000
  #2E new to market May 13 $700,000
  #2E   June 3 $699,000
#1029E     Oct 21 $699,000
  #2E   Nov 4 $650,000
  #2E   Nov 22 $649,000
  #2E change firm Mar 20, 2011 $619,000
#1029E     Mar 22 $675,000
#1029E     April 13 $645,000
  #2E   May 10 $595,000
  #2E contract June 30  
#1029E     July 21 $599,000
#1029E   contract Aug 3*  
  #2E sold Sept 26 $555,000
#1029E   sold Sept 28 $560,000

They are rather different lofts, likely appealing to different sets of buyers though likely viewed by many of the same people. After all, they were both available from May 2010 through June 2011, at very similar prices, with the first one getting below $600,000 getting the first buyer.

outdoors or indoors?
The Bleecker Street mini-loft is all about the outdoor space high above Broadway (“[t]he entire East facing wall, encompassing the kitchen, is designed with glass and sliding doors that open onto a HUGE terrace, which is almost as large as the interior space”) and apparently needed to be spruced up to attract a buyer (“[j]ust renovated, painted and staged with all new furniture[; t]his apt is now turn key and ready for its next love”).

The Flatiron mini-loft is all about the flow and efficiency in a challenging (narrowing) floor plan (“Create your own Intimate Living Spaces with Distinct Full Size Bedroom, Dining & Office Areas”) and may have needed some staging to get a deal done sooner, higher. (Lots of furniture, including two couches.)

lerning are learning is hard
It would be nice if I could put these two Manhattan lofts in broader context. But here is all I have….

The Flatiron mini-loft just sold 6.7% below where it had sold on April 3, 2006. You can’t tell from StreetEasy (darn you SE!), but the floor plan was exactly the same then, and the pix in our data base show a less cluttered furniture array. (Hence, my comment about [not] benefiting from staging.) It is hard to make much of the below-2006 sale in this building in which I hit a pair of recent sales of very similar lofts, one much hihger than a 2007 resale, the other below a 2005 resale (Aug. 24, maple beats oak, handily, and 9th beats 10th, as 21 East 22 Street loft close up 26% since 2007). I wondered in that post if there was a “hyper-local bubble in 2005” in that building; if so, perhaps it continued until the April 2006 sale of #2E.

Even if we had square footage of #1029E on Bleecker Street to make a comp analysis easier, this loft will always be a difficult comp because the small-loft-large-terrace combination is so unusual. Worse, even comping with “the building” is difficult because the coop is really a combination of 3 buildings and the floor plans vary so much. (I referred to some of these difficulties in a post about a sale there that veered between drama and tragedy, in my December 6, 2010, perfectly terrible storm hit sale of 77 Bleecker Street loft.)

So maybe you cannot read too much into these two mini-loft sales. But you can enjoy the eerie parallels between them. (I did.)

© Sandy Mattingly 2011


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