confusing loft at 133 West 14 Street sells 5 years to the day, up 24%
follow the bouncing ball, into the weeds
If there were a real Multiple Listing Service in Manhattan, it would be easy to figure out what happened to the “1,600 sq ft” Manhattan loft that sold a little while ago. With that oh-so-fictional MLS insisting on clean listing and sales data, you’d be impressed that this loft that was sold by the sponsor in a new development leading into The Peak at about $1.44mm just resold at $1.785mm. Back in the real world of Manhattan residential real estate sales, however, there is no one with authority to insist that brokerages accurately label units and report timely correct information, so the New York City ACRIS is often a minefield, the usually reliable StreetEasy is occasionally in an alternate reality (such as thinking that this very same loft sold later in 2007 for $2.45mm and in 2011 for $2.58mm), and the likes of Manhattan Loft Guy and Urban Digs grind our teeth.
Bear with me if you dare, or skip down a bold sub-head when I emerge to talk about the loft instead of the data.
a short flip losing 30% better always catch my eye
I thought there was a major story in this StreetEasy listing history for loft “#6” at 133 West 14 Street, for what I hope are now obvious reasons:
|Dec 20. 2007||sold||$2.425mm|
|Oct 11, 2011||sold||$2.58mm|
|April 10, 2012||new to market||$1.795mm
I clicked there on StreetEasy while trying to research this June 29 deed record for loft “#5” at 133 West 14 Street filed on July 17, for $1.785mm, because the listing directly associated on StreetEasy with that deed has a rational (if not fully correct) history but no pictures. Which lead me to the StreetEasy building page, fm which one can not-quite-easily determine that “#6” at 133 West 14 Street is also known as the penthouse, that the “2,000 sq ft” “PH” was offered for sale in 2009, 2010 and 2011 (with “1,300 sq ft” of private terraces), and that as “#6” it sold on October 11, 2010 for $2.58mm and by the sponsor for $2.425mm on December 20, 2007.
In other words, the StreetEasy sales history in the table above combines the 2007 and 2011 sales of the penthouse unit (“#6”) with the 2012 marketing of unit #5. Sigh.
I have never understood the convention, but I am aware that sponsors sometimes designate condo units by 2-digit numbers for tax filing purposes, then market the units as Floor Number / Unit Letter (a condo unit 24 might really be #2D, for example). Perhaps this is a way for them to game the listing system; who knows why? The usually reliable Property Shark is often the source for interpreting the maze of Condo Unit numbers compared to unit addresses, but in this case … zip.
You really don’t care about this, but even in our listing system we have the same listing data and closed sales data under both “#5” and “#6” for the recent sale at $1.785mm. I have to assume that this came from the listing firm ,as there are different listing ID and web listing numbers for each. Sigh.
meanwhile, back inside the much appreciated loft…
Nothing about the broker babble or photos suggests that there has been any change in condition of the loft since the sponsor sale in 2007, so the 24% gain just captured suggests that the sponsor may have under-valued the loft back in the day. Interesting. Forgive the YELLING, but the sponsor-era babble (from our listing system) was much more enthusiastic, and specific, about the qualities of the finishes than the recent babble:
LOVELY VIEWS OF NEW YORK SKYLINE, EMPIRE STATE BUILDING WOODBURNING FIREPLACE CENTRAL AIR CONDITIONING AND HEAT MAPLE HARDWOOD FLOORS 8 10 CEILINGS RECESSED LIGHTING BEAUTIFUL HARDWOOD DOORS BRIGHT NORTH AND SOUTH EXPOSURES HUGE LIVING ROOM WITH 5 OVERSIZED WINDOWS LOOKING SOUTH KITCHEN FEATURES STAINLESS STEEL TOP OF THE LINE APPLIANCES BLACK POLISHED MARBLE COUNTERTOPS, TUMBLED MARBLE FLOORS MAPLE HARDWOOD CABINETS PANTRY, 2 LAZY SUSAN S, 5 DRAWER CABINET BATHROOM FEATURES BLACK AND WHITE SUBWAY TILES UPSCALE BRUSHED NICKEL FIXTURES MASTER BATHROOM WITH STEAM SHOWER AND 2 PERSON WHIRLPOOL BLACK POLISHED MARBLE COUNTERTOP, TUB SURROUND AND SHOWER BENCH SPACIOUS FULL BATH WITH PEDESTAL SINK IN HALLWAY W LAUNDRY
In addition to all this good stuff, the classic Long-and-Narrow footprints are aided greatly by the 25 foot width of this building. Not many lofts that are only “1,600 sq ft” have that width, or a living area that is essentially square. (Leading, probably, to more volume for the feet, if that makes sense.) The master bedroom is (again) nearly square, leaving a second bedroom on the back wall that (at 9 feet) is larger than many in “1,600 sq ft” lofts.
All the plumbing lines up on one long wall opposite the common stairway and elevator. There is not a great deal of closet space as built, so I can see why they put the washer-dryer in the public bathroom. (Otherwise, it would be at the back of that hall closet.) But I bet that takes some getting used to.
The Penthouse and this loft are the only two to have changed hands since the sponsor sales. This resale did better than the penthouse on a Then v. Now basis, up 24% compared to the penthouse at a mere +6.4%, which may have been a factor of the sponsor under-estimating the 2007 value of this loft, as I said above. Let’s see what happens if we apply the $1,116/ft for this loft to the larger penthouse with those two terraces.
let’s riff (backwards)
The penthouse interior is larger because the roof level master suite pushes the interior space to “2,000 sq ft” up there. The main level of the penthouse has exactly the same floor plan as in this loft, with original babble of the same quality and detail as in the LOUD excerpt block quoted above. Thus, it is fair to assume the base-line for interior space in this building is represented by the $1,116/ft for this loft.That implies that the “2,000 sq ft” interior contributed about $2.232mm in value to the last sale of $2.58mm, leaving a paltry $348,000 in value allocated to the “1,300 sq ft” of terrace space. At that $268/ft, the terraces would be valued at 24% of the interior on a dollar-per-foot basis.
Applying The Miller’s rubric for valuing outdoor space, as we are wont to do on Manhattan Loft Guy, that sits essentially within the round number starting point that outdoor space is typically from 25% to 50% of the interior. (If you still need the link, my May 6, 2010 post of origin on this Miller riffing is here; the progeny are, by now, too numerous to list; but if you must, The Google is your friend.)
I have already tipped my hand by calling the implied terrace value of 24% “paltry”. In this instance, the “1,300 sq ft” terraces are just a little too big for the “2,000 sq ft” interior to qualify the proportion as anything but a slight negative. But what The Miller calls the “association” value should be a plus here: this is a penthouse terrace, directly accessed from interior space; indeed, directly accessed via elevator, as well. The views are better up there than inside: there are “uninterrupted skyline views” from the roof, but only the (private!) bedrooms get the better (north) views from the inside (“including the Empire State, the Chrysler, the Metlife and GE buildings”). I would generally include the premium rooftop views as a factor pushing the outdoor space closer to 50% than 25% of the interior, but in this case there is no room in the actual sales prices for that. Bummer.
Santa Claus came to town, promises to return
If there is anyone out there who remembers this, let me know; you deserve a prize. I featured this under-construction new development in a Christmas post on December 24, 2006 with a photo of a Christmas tree on top of the construction elevator jutting into the 14th Street sidewalk. That was one of only a handful of Manhattan Loft Guy posts with an image, and was repeated (or linked to) exactly a year later, in a post that recounted the sponsor sales in 2007. Time flies!
© Sandy Mattingly 2012