Chelsea House flipper did not reach for stars, but got out via 6 week contract

modesty wins
The sale of  the Manhattan "loft" 130 West 19 Street Unit #6B that was reported this week in the inter-firm data base caught my eye as possibly the first flip at the Clarett Group’s Chelsea House development (more "loft like" than true "loft", since it was built in 2006 but that’s not a battle I am going to win). Next, I noticed it was a pretty quick sale (March 22 listing at $1.475mm, May 2 contract); the deed was filed July 3 at $1.45mm though only updated in our data base this week.

But what really stood out when I dug into the building history was that the asking price for this "1,100 sq ft" 2 bedroom unit was only $75,000 more than the 2008 seller paid as the original buyer in May 2007. The "profit" of $50,000 on the July 2008 flip of the May 2007 purchase is more than eaten up by the round trip expenses (two sets of transfer taxes, broker commission on sale being only the big tickets), which was very likely a bitter pill for the seller.

Props to the seller and PruDE agents Dennis St. Germain and Scott Allison for understanding where to price the unit to sell.

averages don’t apply easily
This sale is an excellent demonstration that gross market data about year-over-year price appreciation is of very limited utility in looking at specific properties. Unit 6B appreciated 3.5% from May 2007 to July 2008, lower than the gains reported in any of the Second Quarter market reports, but the facts are the facts.

In fact, the July 2008 value for #6B is lower than the original sale price of the identical #9B in June 2007 ($1.475mm). The neighbors can’t be happy with the modest price for #6B, but the seller must be happy to be out.


© Sandy Mattingly 2008

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