why did 263 Ninth Avenue loft resale kick some serious butt?

one does not make a trend
I have commented before that bright shiny objects (statistical outliers) tend to catch attention at Manhattan Loft Guy. Today’s bright shiny object is a resale at the 2005* condominium conversion of a former printing building, The Heywood, the “2,124 sq ft” Manhattan loft #6C at 263 Ninth Avenue, which sold with a storage room on July 18 for $2.81mm. It sparkles because it was purchased on January 10, 2006 for $2,036,500 (the storage room cost $22,800), for a gain of three quarters of a million bucks, or 36%. That is a lot of sparkle, sparkle that looks even better on reflection.

But this one sale is just one data point. (D’oh!) Trend seekers will have to contend with the fact that the other two Heywood resales in 2011 did not sparkle. At all.

what would the neighbors say?
The smaller #3A (“1,264 sq ft”) sold on February 15 for $1,287,500, a gain of only 7.6% over the sponsor sale on January 19, 2006 at $1,196,443.

The larger #1E (2,138 sq ft”) sold on January 12 for $1,609,000, a gain of only 9% over the sponsor sale on June 13, 2006 at $1,476,462.

None of the broker babble gives any indication that these three lofts have been changed since the sponsor sales, so all are in essentially identical condition with the exact same finishes. Nor have the views changed. Arguably, #3A has the money view: while both #3A and #6C claim “amazing” light and open views, only #3A claims Empire State Building views.

On the merits it makes sense for #1E to be much the least expensive on a dollar per foot basis, having few windows and nearly half its space on a lower level with no windows at all. And #6C has a much better floor plan than #3A, even allowing for the differences in scale. Loft #3A is a one bedroom plus (interior) home office, with one exposure; while #6C is a natural 3-bedroom with a corner location that permits windows on nearly half of the exterior wall space. But I don’t see those differences in layout as justifying the spread between #3A and #6C (adjusting #6C by taking out the storage room at the original value):

  • #1E $753/ft
  • #3A $1,019/ft
  • #6C $1,312/ft

One hypothesis is that the sponsor failed to price in an appropriate high floor premium originally, but there is no evidence of that at this point (other than the spread on these three sales). The “1,701 sq ft” loft #8E (boasting views of the river and the High Line) sold a year ago at only a tiny gain over the sponsor sale ($1,888,000 vs. $1,858,306), while the same unit two floor up (#PHE) did much better two years ago, but not as well as #6C (sponsor sale at $1,883,762; August 9, 2009 at $2.15mm).

Net, net … the recent #6C resale, a record for the building in dollars per foot, is a bright shiny object that is easier to appreciate than to explain. Outliers are like that. Unless retrospect (that female dog!) renders this one a harbinger. But we can’t see backwards from the future yet.

*fun fact
The Heywood has 50 units, the first of which was sold by the sponsor in March 2005 and the second of which was sold by the sponsor in January 2006, along with 18 other sales that month. It looks as though all sponsor sales were completed by June 2006. I don’t recall ever seeing a (successful!) new development in which there was such a gap between the first sale and the second.

© Sandy Mattingly 2011


Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply