different story for this Chelsea House loft: started with Lehman, ended up off 22%, but up 6.5% lifetime

fighting or flighting, double redux
When I started yesterday’s post about a recent sale at 130 West 19 Street (February 11, persistence pays for Chelsea House loft (that, and the right price)) I actually intended to write about a different loft there. But the immediacy of the #7B sale (recorded on February 10) and the multi-themed narrative of its marketing and (eventual) sale sent me in a different direction.

Today I return to Plan A, discussing the not-as-recent sale of the Manhattan loft #4F at 130 West 19 Street (Chelsea House), which sold on December 21, and has been on my ‘discuss’ pile since I noted the January 5 filing weeks ago. The themes are remarkably similar to yesterday’s #7B discussion but the result is very different, at least compared to the original 2006 purchase price.

I am not going to quote from yesterday’s post so it would be helpful if you were familiar with it. (Waiting….)

With yesterday as context, these travails will seem familiar (for this one I added the original sponsor sale as the top data point):

Aug 23, 2006 sponsor $1,267,721
Sept 27, 2008 new $1.728mm
Dec 2   $1.699mm
Jan 21, 2009   $1.65mm
Mar 1   $1.575mm
Mar 19   $1.5mm
May 1 change firms  
May 21   $1.45mm
Mar 12, 2010 hiatus  
April 20 change firms $1.525mm
June 7   $1.45mm
July 7 hiatus  
Sept 14 back $1.399mm
Oct 29 contract*  
Dec 21 sold $1.35mm

*(StreetEasy has two contract dates; I am using the only one in our system.)

fighting, and more fighting
Let me underline this (metaphorically): this loft was actively for sale from September 27, 2008 until a contract two years later, except one six week period leading to a change in firms in Spring 2010 and a two month summer break in 2010 … with 8 price changes in those 20 active months. If yesterday’s #7B took a both/and response to the disappointed seller’s conundrum (it did), #4F was a non-flyer, fighting every (bloody) step of the way. Note that #4F came to market 12 days after The Fall of the House of Lehman, so was fighting The Market at the beginning and through the depths of the nuclear winter that the overall Manhattan residential real estate market suffered from.

lofty prices, reduced to 2006 levels
OK … I will offer one quote from yesterday:

Did I mention that The Market is not fair?

#7B went on and off the market (two breaks of 5 and 6 months), started only 3% above the original August 2006 sponsor price (off a November 2005 contract), but ended up selling down 15% from that original sale price.

Did I mention that The Market is not fair?

In contrast, #4F started out at a 36% premium to the original August 2006 sponsor price (off an April 2006 contract), but ended up selling at a 6.5% premium from that original sale price.

unfair, but curiously rational
There were 2  other 2010 sales at Chelsea House, so a total of 4 in the last 13 months. Even spread out over that relatively long period, they are within a satisfyingly narrow range on a price-per-foot basis (satisfying, for those who prefer their markets rational). The last column below reflects the gain or (loss) since the original sale; those figures are all over the map, suggesting that The (current) Market valuation differences are different from the sponsor’s sense of the relative values among these lofts in 2005 and 2006.

#7B Jan 25, 2011 $1,119/ft (15%)
#4F Dec 21, 2010 $1,080/ft 6.5%
#8D June 18 $1,128/ft (5.8%)
#7A Jan 5 $1,105/ft 2.6%

Without that last column, you would never know from this table that #7B got squeezed by the market, or that #4F got a strong price. Isn’t this fun???

I am not going to extend this post with the kind of how to read past sale data / one Flatiron loft laboratory exegesis that a StreetEasy discussion thread about 43 East 21 Street prompted on February 9, but you can see how this stuff gets … complicated. If you take it seriously.

Sometimes price analysis gets over-determined. And I will stop there. (For today.)

© Sandy Mattingly 2011

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