126 West 22 Street loft beats near-Peak, with upgrade

Upgrade Week continues…
Ah, the perils of parsing broker babble …. The marketing campaign for the recently sold “2,200 sq ft” Manhattan loft #11N at 126 West 22 Street (Chelsea Flats) is full of upgrade language, some more specific than others, as you will see below. The nature and extent of the upgrades are key to understanding a prior sales history that includes a near-Peak sale at (the very funny number of) $2,691,810 on July 30, 2008 and the recent sale on July 11 at $2.785mm. How much of that $93,190 premium (a modest 3.5%, but still) is a micro-nabe market improvement, and how much is value added since 2008?

Here’s part of the recent babble, bolded for extra emphasis:

just renovated … 2 upgraded bath loft, and 2012 totally renovated gourmet kitchen with new Viking stove, Bosch dishwasher, wine refrigerator, and separate pantry (with Bosch washer/dryer). Also large bright living room and separate dining area, plus an interior den/media room. High ceilings (11 foot), high floor with plenty of light, sky and open city views, six large oversized windows, Central Air Conditioning, and through-wall wiring and speakers throughout for sound system. This beautiful home-loft features a dream master bedroom, walk-in closet/dressing room with separate home office work space

For comparison, here is part of the 2008 vintage babble:

no expense spared in its renovation. The kitchen is separate but open to living and dining areas making this home perfect for entertaining. Surround sound, custom lighting and central air-conditioning have been installed throughout the entire residence. The ceilings soar to over 11+/- feet. Facing north you get an incredible amount of light and have open views toward midtown

The Then Floor Plan looks a lot like the Now Floor Plan, with an extra bit of carpentry to add that second bedroom. The contrasting kitchen photos are a mixed bag. I see a new stove and dishwasher, though the wine frig looks familiar (as does the counter), the frig is off-frame Then, and the very specific backsplash tiling survives. A little disappointing for “totally renovated”.

Best guess is that they paid more than $93,190 for the kitchen and bath upgrades but it is a mystery whether they added any value in doing so. (Did I mention that comping is hard?) I tend to doubt it.

It is kinda sorta like the changes in content and sales prices in my August 14, 43 East 21 Street loft beats near-Peak value, breaks building record, which dealt with a prior sale that was just the other side of the Peak quarter for recorded sales in the overall Manhattan residential real estate market.

reading babble is harder than tea leaves, can lead to over-analysis
Best guess from the babbling is that loft #11N was already in somewhat better condition in its no-expense-spared-renovation 2008 state as loft #10N, which did not directly compete with #11N either in 2008 or this time around:

TABLE 5 x 14
Feb 28, 2008 #11N new to market $2.795mm
June 4 #11N contract
July 16 #10N new to market $2.785mm
July 30 #11N sold $2,691,810
Sept 2 #10N $2.735mm
Sept 26 #10N contract
Oct 15                   #10N sold $2.7mm
Mar 1, 2012 #10N new to market $2.699mm
Mar 27 #10N contract
April 7 #11N new to market $2.799mm
May 1 #11N contract
June 1 #10N sold $2.65mm
July 11 #11N sold $2.785mm

In 2008, #11N came out in a better market, yet #10N got a (rare!) post-Lehman contract at a tiny premium over #11N. In 2012, #10N came out first, modestly priced at the September 2008 closing price, and got a small discount. Both found 2012 contracts quickly, but #11N started higher and beat both its 2008 sale and both #10N sales.

Maybe that 2012 bump in favor of #11N is due to its new-and-(slightly)-improved condition. It just looks like market noise to me. (Don’t love the backsplash, regardless.)

playing in the neighborhood
My only other post about loft sales in this was my February 17, 2011, 126 West 22 Street loft deal shows opposite approaches to market while keeping it local, which mainly had to do with how variable 2 bedroom + 2 bath footprints can be in lofts.

© Sandy Mattingly 2012


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