price discovery was long + hard for 144 West 27 Street loft with 2 kitchens, 3 dishwashers

what was the plan here?
The folks who just sold the “2,850 sq ft” Manhattan loft #4F at 144 West 27 Street seem to have bought it as two lofts in 1998 (for $662,000) yet never got around to (fully) combining them (a single door between the two does not count when there is no real integration and separate kitchens). I assume the new owners will play around with this floor plan, probably to take down the entire wall between the two units (including that kitchen) and (if they can live with interior sleeping areas for the second and third “bedroom”) using the entry into the eastern stub. Not many people really need an “attached guest apartment that can be used separately” these days, or want to pay for it. (When you paid $662,000 that was one set of economics; at $2.6mm you probably want to maximize the utility of the entire space.)

But the real story here is that it took these sellers 16 months (not counting one month-long hiatus) to discover that $2.995mm and $2.795mm were not market-ready prices:

Sept 1, 2010 new to market $2.995mm
Nov 18   $2.795mm
Jan 3, 2012 hiatus  
Feb 7 back on market  
Feb 8   $2.695mm
June 21 contract  
Aug 23 sold $2.6mm

You’d think that sitting at $2.795mm for an extended period (13+ months!) would have smoked out any interest near $2.6mm in 2011. But you’d be wrong (I’d be wrong).

If you looked at the Master List of Manhattan Lofts Sold Since November 2008 that I flogged yesterday here (September 9, about that Master List of downtown Manhattan loft sales …) and for two days on The Twitter (are you there? follow @ManhattnLoftGuy), you’d be able to count 46 downtown Manhattan lofts of more than “2,200 sq ft” that sold in 2011 at or below $2.7mm. Yes, there was an active buyer pool for Manhattan lofts that could easily fit 3 bedrooms under $2.7mm in 2011. That pool ignored loft #4F for a long time.

a challenging layout
Even with “2,850 sq ft” and what had been to separate residences, loft #4F has a difficult footprint. The floor plan has a single east window in the NE corner, but the north wall of windows is the main exposure, a good 50 feet from the back wall of the loft. You could keep a smaller bedroom in that NE corner (at about 8 x 15 feet, a real bedroom), but most loft buyers would want to retain as much of that long north wall for public space as possible. There’s great volume to be appreciated with 11 foot ceilings and (once that wall between the units comes down) 30 feet of windows in the public area.

For additional sleeping areas beyond two bedrooms, you are left with that back (dark) wall. You could easily have two “interior bedrooms” back there, but with “2,850 sq ft” it will be disappointing to some not to have more than two real bedrooms.

we have some building data (of course)
I mentioned 3 sales in the building in my March 2, 2011, since that $458/ft loft sale at 144 West 27 Street …, but none of those sales quite fit the parameters of 2,200+ sq ft under $2.7mm that sold in 2011. Since those sales, the “3,000 sq ft” loft #8R sold in a private transaction on April 16 for $2.5mm, and the “2,700 sq ft” #2R sold on March 31, 2011 for $2.25mm. That one would have been tough competition for #4F, as it was not only “triple mint” but “nothing but perfect”, with a much better (corner) floor plan, and offered under $2.5mm from October 2010 until finding a contract in January 2011.

It is hard to see how #4F could do better than ##2R in that head-to-head competition, and it did not. After #2R was off the board, however, the stubborn persistent #4F sellers held at $2.695mm until their contract at $2.6mm on June 21.

I assume everybody who looked at #4F knew the #2R history and clearing price. Yet #4F got 16% more than #2R once #4F was the only loft available in the building.

© Sandy Mattingly 2012

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  1. […] 144 West 27 Street …, and another loft a few floors below (#4F) in my September 10, 2012, price discovery was long + hard for 144 West 27 Street loft with 2 kitchens, 3 dishwashers. It’s good to be […]

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