not thawed in 2009, Lion's Head loft sells 9% over ask, 54% over 2006

let’s make it this week’s theme
Yesterday I featured a Soho penthouse loft that did not sell under $4mm in 2009 (and 2010!) but recently sold for $5mm (July 22,
no thaw was good news for (eventual) penthouse loft seller at 347 West Broadway). Today we make it an official Manhattan Loft Guy theme, presenting for your consideration the “1,925 sq ft” Manhattan loft #8B at 121 West 19 Street (the Lion’s Head), which just sold for $2.8mm after not selling off an asking price of $2.2mm just as the overall Manhattan residential real estate market was beginning to thaw out of the apocalyptic nuclear winter that began on September 15, 2008.

In an additional parallel to yesterday’s loft, loft #8B also sold above ask (yesterday, 7.5% over; today, 9% over), and was similarly quick this time (20 days to contract, yesterday; today, 25 days). Yesterday’s Soho penthouse loft tested the (generally) thawing market for quite a long time, but loft #8B showed far less patience back in the day:

Feb 27, 2009 new to market $2.22mm
June 3 off the market  
Mar 14, 2013 new to market $2.55mm
April 8 contract  
June 26 sold $2.8mm

some upgrades, some premium
I am not sufficiently familiar with the original condition in which Lion’s Head lofts were sold in 2006 by the developer to recognize all the “tasteful upgrades” beyond those claimed in the broker babble (“dining area has a custom built hutch and recessed spotlighting” and “built-in surround sound speakers” and “California Closets and a great built-in shoe cabinet”), but the window treatments seem nice.

I don’t see how a hutch, lighting, sound, and even the most tasteful closets can account for the premium that loft #8B just got over its neighbors, but at $1,454/ft beats the other four Lion’s Head public sales in 2013 handily (StreetEasy building page,
here; #5A on June 20 was at $1,165/ft, #9E on May 7 was at $1,364/ft, #4C on February 28 was at $1,122/ft, and #8E on January 15 was at $1,301/ft) and it appears to be a building record for a non-penthouse unit resale on a dollar per foot basis.


Must be some hutch.

Here’s another way to see how deep the nuclear winter was and how the thaw was delayed at the Lion’s Head. That building page shows that 16 lofts did
not sell here after the September 15, 2008 Lehman bankruptcy, coming off the market between November 6, 2008 and June 12, 2009, including #8B (as noted, off on June 3). The only loft to sell in those days was #PHC on November 15, 2008, which some brave soul signed a contract to purchase a week after Lehman; the next to sell was loft #10G, which held on for a June 13, 2009 contract and closed on August 5 (at only $1,097/ft, but it sold). Perhaps #8B (off the market June 3) would have sold had it stayed available a few weeks longer, as #10G did. But that ask was $2.2mm.

June 26, 2013: $2.8mm.

That #8B sellers paid $1,812,485 when buying from the developer on May 4, 2006. Before expenses, they made
just under a million bucks in 7 years, or 54%. Had they sold in 2009 at their ask, they’d have gained less than $400,000, or 21%; and no one was then offering their asking price.

They couldn’t
know on June 3, 2009 that taking time off the market would help so much (and we don’t know what will happen in 2014 …), but it turns out that they made two good calls, one in 2009 and one in 2013.


© Sandy Mattingly 2013


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