double your money in 10 years! 135 West 17 Street does the deed


from "published" to "renovated classic"
The Manhattan loft #4B at 135 West 17 Street closed on December 22, but this qualifies as late-breaking news because StreetEasy says the deed was filed yesterday. This was billed as "2,400 sq ft" of "renovated classic loft" and sold rather quickly: to market on September 26 at $2.45mm, in contract by November 21, with that December 22 closing that was remarkably rapid for a coop board approval process.

The seller was quick to prove she was "negotiable", as that prompt contract and sale price was $2.15mm, an essentially average 12% discount from list. (Careful readers will recall that Miller Samuel pegged the average Manhattan listing discount in the 4th Quarter of 2009 as 12.8%; see my January 6 post more Manhattan lofts sold, but very, very slowly.) While the $895/ft price is interesting for a beautiful loft in almost-prime Chelsea, I was intrigued by the last sale of this loft.

It seems that this loft had not changed hands for ten years, and that the recent seller bought a lovely loft. #4B was marketed in 1999 as "architect designed and published". The appliances included Traulsen and Sub-Zero. (The 2009 babbling featured Sub-Zero, Viking and Bosch, as in "I will see your frig and raise you a range and dishwasher".) This loft closed in October 1999 at $1.05mm, almost exactly half of what it sold for ten years later.

rules, compounded
What’s that rule of compound interest? 6% interest, compounded annually, will result in 100% appreciation over ten years. Voila!

But I am sure that the trajectory of value for this loft was hardly that linear from 1999 to 2009, and featured at least one dip in the early 2008 range. But the 2009 price was the Market Price (with no evidence of undue compulsion to sell), and the 1999 buyer might well have anticipated being happy with a market-doubling ten years later.

I don’t have enough pictures to compare the look of the units in 1999 and more recently, and no floor plan available from 1999, but I would not be surprised if the "renovated classic" condition in 2009 was very similar to the "architect designed and published" condition in 1999. (Both versions were billed as 3 bedroom, 2 baths.) There may have been only a kitchen upgrade and similar work over the ten years (the 1999 vintage "beautiful wood beams" had a natural finish then; ten yearslater thy had been painted white).

So I am mildly curious to know how much the loft changed over ten years, and how much money was spent, in order to see how clean the double-your-money thing went here. But only mildly curious. They are two nice data points, regardless.


© Sandy Mattingly 2010



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