asking $1.495mm did not work for 148 West 23 Street loft, but asking $1.575mm did

can’t (really) blame the calendar
I’ve talked before about lofts that did not sell during the nuclear winter of Manhattan real estate that followed the Lehman bankruptcy (two years ago next week!), but the recent sale of the combined Manhattan loft #1CD at 148 West 23 Street (Chelsea Mews) does not quite fit that pattern.

When this loft did not sell in 2009 when it was asking $1.495mm, it already missed the chilly part of 2009 (coming out in September), and it stayed out at that same price until February 8, 2010. You’d think that a buyer willing to spend $1.41mm might have found it by then.

But sometimes The Market is just odd. Let’s lay it out before chewing on it.

double height and double wide
Our database shows this loft as "1,770 sq ft", with 18 ft ceilings that provide the volume for duplexed bedrooms. Although "recently renovated to posh perfection", the two mirror-image lofts appear to have been combined since at least the owner-before-last (2002). And an odd combination it is.

I am not saying that the renovation was not posh or perfect, just that they have left an awful lot of Two Loft things in place, including two stairways (needed if there is no transit point upstairs between the bedrooms), two entrances (with matching hall closets), and one long stretch of living room wall with another shorter length (much more than the load-bearing column needed to keep the upper floor duplexes up). And there’s not a lot of privacy in the two upper level bedrooms, both being open to the lower level and them sharing some kind of sliding door. I assume (hope) that it works better as built than it appears as drawn, but it surely appears to do The Absolute Minimum Needed To ‘Combine’ Adjoining Lofts.

But the really odd thing is the price history, not the layout.

bad luck in late 2009?
Here’s what happened:

Sept 30, 2009 new listing $1.495mm
  … nothing …  
February 8, 2010 off the market  
March 31 new firm $1.575mm
July 7 contract $1.41mm
Aug 25 closed $1.41mm

It’s that "nothing" that is odd here, given that The Market was much deeper in the 4th quarter of 2009 than earlier in 2009, and given that there was a shorter bridge to the clearing price from the 2009 asking price of $1.495mm than from the new 2nd quarter 2010 asking price of $1.575mm.

Perhaps there was simply no one interested in this space from September 2009 into February 2010, and then exactly one person interested in this space in June 2010 (who had not been looking before). That would explain it, but it seems odd.

Still. And probably more-so to the agents who were trying to sell at $1.495mm, unsuccessfully.

on that 2010 – is – not – 2009 theme
We’ve been here before, probably most recently in my July 23, 1200 Broadway loft closes near 2009 ask, where I said:

I know you don’t need them, but here are the basic links: my July 7 post, 12 examples of the (rapid) velocity of the Manhattan loft market, and my July 8 post, another sign that 2010 is not 2009, as 60 West 15 Street loft sells.

Apparently, I did not start using ‘nuclear winter’ as

a tag

until June this year.

© Sandy Mattingly 2010

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