Chelsea House kinda sorta holds its own, reveals Truths in The Market

more or less
The Manhattan "loft" #8D at 130 West 19 Street, Chelsea House, closed on June 18 at $1.51mm, down 6% from its last clearing price three years ago. If you are familiar with my post comparing lofts that sold in 2007 and again recently (March 5,data dump: 27 Manhattan lofts sold in 2007 + recently) you would recognize  that, in context, that slim slide is not too bad for a new development resale. This recent sale provides an opportunity to look back at other less recent sales in the building, revealing a bloody competition between neighbors last year.

#8D is "1,338 sq ft" and looks to be in the original condition in which the building was first sold in 2006, with one major exception: the owners took down the wall between the living room and second bedroom, leaving a living room that is roughly 17 x 23 feet with four big windows, and a single bedroom. The "D" line footprint is almost a classic Long-and-Narrow loft footprint, with the plumbing in the middle, though it gets very narrow at the master suite narrow end.

2010 is not 2009

Like the loft sale featured in my June 15, 808 Broadway seller bites painful bullet, closes off 15% since 2006, this loft is  a poster child for how The Market has thawed since the post-Lehman nuclear winter. It had been offered for sale for four months in early 2009 at $1.625mm and $1.5mm, without success. When it came back to the market on April 6, 2010 at $1.575mm it found nearly immediate success (contract by May 1). manifestly, no buyer was available at $1.51mm a year earlier.

recent (-ish) sales at Chelsea House

This is the first sale at 130 West 19 Street in five months, after there were three sales between October and January. There is no direct (or fair) comparison to the other new developments in my 2007 paired resale twins because three of these units were sold originally in 2006, but these recent(-ish) sales suggest that Chelsea House has held more value than other new developments. [Note to self: do a fair comparison, and find out … later.]

unit sold on at prior sale at up/down
#8D June 18, 2010 $1.51mm May 18, 2007 $1,603,743 -5.9%
#7A Jan 5, 2010 $1.75mm Oct 11, 2006 $1,705,568 2.6%
#10C Dec 1, 2009 $1.93mm Dec 7, 2006 $2,221,369 -13.1%
#6A Oct 1, 2009 $1.635mm Sept 8, 2006 $1,649,565 -0.9%

inefficiency of market exposed, thaw revealed
Note the different results for the identical #7A and #6A. Evidently, the #6A sellers had to sell into a tough market, while the #7A sellers could afford to wait.

They were both on The Market in January and February 2009, they both tried many (unsuccessful) prices, but only the #6A sellers slogged through to a contract. It is probably not a coincidence that the #7A sellers came back to market after the #6A contract. Interesting that the #7A sellers came back to market well above the #6A deal. Much more interesting that the #7A sellers were able to insist upon a much higher price than #6A .

#7A   Oct 10, 2008 new $2.195mm
#7A   Nov 11   $2.095mm
#7A   Nov 20   $1,999,999
  #6A Jan 14, 2009 new $2mm
#7A   Jan 27   $1.9mm
  #6A Feb 13   $1.85mm
  #6A Feb 24   $1.795mm
#7A   Mar 6 off market  
  #6A Apr 15   $1.725mm
  #6A July 3 contract  
#7A   July 25   $1.85mm
  #6A Oct 1 closed $1.635mm
#7A   Oct 24   $1.795mm
#7A   Nov 20 contract  
#7A   Jan 5, 2010 closed $1.75mm

Note the brutal competition from January 14 to March 6, 2009.

Note the risky tactical retreat by #7A on March 6.

Note that #7A’s tactics worked out to a 7% premium over the #6A clearing price, but also note that it took 4 additional months to get that result. My take-away: never play poker with the #7A sellers.

long time no see
It has been a long time between Manhattan Loft Guy posts about this building. I last hit it near The Peak, July 17, 2008, Chelsea House flipper did not reach for stars, but got out via 6 week contract. Way back when, I was impressed that the flipping owners of #6B were (a) rather modest in flipping, asking ‘only’ $75,000 more than their original purchase price in May 2007, and (b) successful, as they got  a contract in 6 weeks. That successful flip generated this comment by me near The Peak:

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 2010



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