808 Broadway penthouse loft lost 15% of value since 2007

dramatically different dynamics result in regression
When the duplex Manhattan loft with private roof deck #PH-C at 808 Broadway sold on October 1, 2007 it was the belle of its ball, sparking a bidding war to close at $1,987,000, a 5% premium. Of course, that was very close to The Peak. When it re-sold on May 19 it was a different story, clearing at $1,695,000 after taking nearly 3 months to find that contract off an asking price of $1,795,000. Put this one in the folder marked “The Market is down about 15% since The Peak”.

layout challenges
The “1,400 sq ft” layout obviously counts the two levels of master “bedroom” stacked over the kitchen, taking advantage of what elsewhere in the loft are 14 foot ceilings. The “bedroom” is open to below; otherwise it would not only not have a window but would feel very cramped with 7 foot ceilings. (The kitchen below opens into the 14 foot living area, so avoids that particular problem.)

Consider the privacy challenges posed by this open master “bedroom”, challenges that are much less (well) challenging when that interior room downstairs is used as a nursery than when it is (eventually) inhabited by someone who does not sleep on an infant’s schedule. Now consider the fact that no grown-ups can go to sleep while there are guests on the terrace, because of access to the lovely terrace.

I wonder if the sellers moved out in less than 4 years when (because??) the inhabitant of the “nursery” no longer slept like a baby. They did last longer here than their sellers, however.

and down a hair since 2005
The 2007 sellers who caught The Peak were owners for even a shorter period, having bought in December 2005. (That is this record on StreetEasy, but the square footage numbers are clearly in error.) Those 2007-sellers-and-2005-buyers got the benefit of the frothy market in their short tenure (though they likely just plowed it in to another property under similar frothy conditions), having paid $1,715,000 on December 8, 2005.

Without the distraction of the intervening sale, from December 2005 to May 2011 this penthouse loft was essentially treading water, trading down at a trivial 1.2%.

a bear move?
The notice address for the Penthouse C sellers is a loft just a few blocks south and a little east, which they are apparently renting (listing is here). They traded ownership of “1,400 [rather awkward] sq ft” with a terrace for a real 2-bedroom loft of “1,603 sq ft” (I don’t believe the figure quoted in the rental listing; the floor plan is on an earlier rental listing, here.) Aside from the lifestyle trade to more interior space, much more conventionally laid out, but with the loss of the entertainment value of the terrace, I wonder if these sellers-to-renters are waiting out the sales market.

Even if they are paying the full ask for the rental ($8,995/mo), their direct cash housing costs are probably lower than at The Renwick, where their maintenance was $2,917/mo. I can’t find any record of a mortgage from the former penthouse (probably because city records seem to have a lot of trouble with condop information, and The Renwick is a true condop, rather than because they did not have a mortgage), but I would expect that they were paying at least $6,000/mo on a mortgage for what they paid $1,987,000 in October 2007.

While speculating about this stuff is interesting, there’s not enough factual fodder to make it very interesting. So I will stop. (You’re welcome!)

© Sandy Mattingly 2011


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