Stage One review
When I saw that the "2,000 sq ft" Manhattan loft #9E at 40 West 20 Street closed on September 2 for $1.64mm and that the "2,000 sq ft" #8N closed for $1.7mm on January 30, 2008 I was intrigued. That #8N closing was pretty close to the calendar peak for all Manhattan, yet #9E cleared only 3.5% off….
Stage Two explains
Even with the full wind of the late 2007 market behind it, #8N took a while to sell. It was first offered in December 2006 at $1.895mm but took one change in firms and one price change to $1.795mm to find a contract in December 2007 — a full 49 weeks to contract. Billed as "an incredible value", it was either in "move in" condition or was a bit of a project ("bring your architect and design the loft you’ve always dreamed of"). As noted, it took a while for someone to dream that dream, and pay the freight.
In contrast, the recently closed #9E had already been visited by the architect (and the dream) when it was marketed, beginning in February 2009 (a particularly frigid part of a thin market). They started at $2.05mm on February 11 but were on a 6 week plan: dropping to $1.975mm on March 26, to $1.875mm on May 9, and to $1.775mm on June 17 before finding a contract on July 22.
in the ballpark, or out
If you ballpark the architect-designed #9E as a $200/ft renovation and the architect-invited #8N as needing that level of work, then #9E looks to be (very) roughly one-third off peak, a year-and-a-half later. Ouch. ‘Course that would be a lesser hit to the extent that #8N was less than a full-renovation project.
© Sandy Mattingly 2009