more man-on-dog action as 21 Astor Place loft sells up 3% since Peak

only $50,000, but still
I hit a Bright Shiny Object last weekend, a man-bites-dog story last month, and a sale at 21 Astor Place the month before that. Today’s feature is the sale of the “1,304 sq ft” Manhattan loft #6F at 21 Astor Place on July 1 for $1.9mm, as it is a (weak) trifecta: a Bright Shiny Object for being a statistical outlier; a man-bites-dog item because it sold last June 11, 2008 at $.85mm (all man-bites-dog sales are BSOs at heart); and a 21 Astor Place sale because … well, I am not going to explain that further.

Every number tells a story:

  • Jan 15, 2004 $1.025mm
  • May 13, 2004 $1.365mm
  • June 11, 2008 $1.85mm
  • July 1, 2011 $1.9mm

Treat the early history as deep background: gal buys from sponsor and flips in four months to earn a big tax bill (non-capital gains); married gal times a resale nearly perfectly to earn a 36% return. It was that near-Peak-buyer-turned-2011-seller who did not get the memo, and did not care. Having paid $1.85mm very close to The Peak, she nonetheless offered the loft for sale on November 30 at $1.995mm. Still refusing to read the memo, she held firm there until her April 1 contract at $1.9mm.

why would a buyer do that?
Most buyers have read the memo, so would look askance at an ask with a premium to a June 2008 sale. Especially when the same unit, two floors down but “sun-flooded”, did not sell from December 2009 into September 2010 at $1.75mm and $1.699mm. But this buyer made the deal for #6F.

Sometimes a buyer just have to have what a buyer just has to have, and will over-pay if there is no other way to get the owner to agree to sell.

Do you have a better explanation?

that other BSO
If you have been having short-term memory issues and are curious about that other Bright Shiny Object from last weekend, that was my July 30, why did 263 Ninth Avenue loft resale kick some serious butt?, which told the tale of a resale with a significant premium over a two-years-before-Peak sale, but which is not a trend:

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.

that other 21 AP
You don’t need a short-term memory excuse if you don’t remember my June 11, 21 Astor Place loft sells up 21% in 2 years. That was also a BSO, though I did not call it that; I just could not explain the gain:

Let’s just say that the price is a little difficult to rationalize within other building sales. The “2,042 sq ft” duplex loft “raises the bar for luxurious style and design”, has “an elaborate designer staircase and a one-of-a-kind arched window”, but it did sell in April 2009 at only $3,225,000 (and in March 2004 at $1,756,451).


In contrast to #7F at $1,917/ft (and at $1,579/ft two years ago), the “3,000 sq ft” #9C sold on August 21, 2009 at $3.55mm ($1,183/ft). Granted, that babble is not quite as enthusiastic as that of #7F and the sale suffered from being over-priced in a nuclear winter, but but but …. But #7F also last sold in a bit of a chill. But when #7F was selling at $860/ft in the initial offering in 2004, #9C was selling at $1,018/ft ($3,054,750).


The genius here is not making the “exclusive upgrades” to #7F, as the original buyer did those. The genius here would make old Fred proud: buy low, sell high. (Don’t ask me what The Donald might think.)

and that toothy man
In my July 5, man bites dog! 49 East 21 Street loft sells 3.6% above Peak, I hit another recent sale at a small premium to a Peak sale:

But today’s news really is news: the Manhattan loft #4A at 49 East 21 Street recently sold for $1.85mm, after selling on January 24, 2008 (nearly as peak as peak can be) for $1.795mm. A modest gain of 3.6%, but in this sentence gain is a much more important word than modest.

Bright Shiny Objects such as these, will undoubtedly catch my eye in the future (as they are bright and shiny), so you can expect to hear about them until a from-Peak-premium is no longer an outlier and trends toward Trend.

© Sandy Mattingly 2011

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