49 East 21 Street loft beats near-Peak value, breaks building record

was it the upgraded counter, Mars?
Sometimes the key to a very enthusiastic bit of broker babble is what is not there. In the case of the “1,375 sq ft” Manhattan loft #9A at 49 East 21 Street that just sold at $1.985mm after selling just before The Peak at (only) $1.9mm, the key word is an explicit “upgraded” used to modify only one element of an over-the-top kitchen description. Not that the “Upgraded Granite Counter Tops” explain the modest gain (4.5%) between December 17, 2007 and July 3, 2012, but that the rest of the finishes in the well-appointed and properly proper named loft were not upgraded in the interim.

That 2007 prior sale is within two weeks of being as close to Peak as a loft could be, without being in the calendar quarter in which the highest sales prices in the overall Manhattan residential real estate market were recorded. Because data sets have to have rigid boundaries, loft #9A sold as a pre-Peak, 2007 value with this enthusiastic babble:

Stunning …. Two bedrooms, two full Kohler bathrooms with Italian glass tiling plus a home-office/den. Custom California walk-in closet in master bedroom and a double sink and a glass-enclosed shower in master bathroom. Open modern kitchen with new high-end appliances. Washer-Dryer. 11 feet high beamed ceilings. Beautiful African oak wide plank wood floors. Oversized windows. … barely been lived in so everything is pretty much brand new

That “barely lived in” aside is fascinating. First, it supports the everything-is-as-though-brand-new conclusion, but secondly for the economics. There was little (if any) rental income to support the common charges and taxes of $1,950/mo since that 2007 seller purchased from the sponsor on January 28, 2005. Lest you feel too badly for that seller and his near $70,000 in monthlies plus (rather tiny) mortgage payments of a similar amount (Property Shark shows only a mortgage of $345,000, in ACRIS here; at 6% that’s just $2,068/mo), that 2007 seller at $1.9mm paid $1,252,447 nearly 3 years earlier. Even with the big ticket expenses of sales fee and transfer taxes to exit, there’s a healthy half million left over for him.

Contrast that 2007 babble with the recent effort, with my bold of the pregnant “upgraded” so that nobody misses it:

Beautiful … 2 Bedrooms + Home Office/Guest Room and 2 Baths …. Mint & Incredibly Sunny Home Features Seven Oversized South-Facing Windows, 11’ Beamed Ceilings, African Oak Wide Plank Wood Floors & a Bosch Washer & Dryer. …Huge Open Kitchen w/ Stainless Bosch Appliances, Upgraded Granite Counter Tops, Bisazza Tile Backsplashes, In-Sink Garbage Disposal, Slow Closing Drawers & Tons of Storage Space. The Master Bedroom is Huge (18×12.6) w/a Large Walk-In Closet, and a Gracious En-Suite Master Bath w/His & Her Sinks, Bisazza tiles, Kohler, Toto & Watermark Fixtures.

Whatever it cost to upgrade the countertops, I bet there was no additional price paid for that singular element in the recent sale.

market context, coincidence
For those following along for a few years, with a 4.5% gain from a 2007 sale loft #9A fits in nicely at the positive end of the range in my effort last year to assess where the downtown market was since 2007 by looking at same loft resales (in my September 27, 2011, is the Manhattan loft market back to (up to) 2007? 61 repeat sales say “probably”, “a bit”). The data set remains too small to do a rigorous Early 2007 v. Late 2007, but this resale is (as noted) about as close to The Peak as one could be yet still be a  2007 resale.

I happened to hit an actual Peak-then-2011 resale in this building in my July 5, 2011, man bites dog! 49 East 21 Street loft sells 3.6% above Peak, about loft #4A  selling on May 12, 2011 at $1.85mm after a January 24, 2008 sale at $1.795mm. That one also had the possibility of a (trivial) kitchen upgrade, coincidentally enough.

Rarely do I keep promises, I know (sigh), but this post represents a promise kept. In my August 2, from the Department of Odd (But Round) Numbers: 3 lofts sell in July $5,000 above ask, I talked about a trio of lofts that closed in the prior few weeks at exactly $5,000 above the asking price. Two had already been blogged about,

the third is the “1,375 sq ft” Manhattan loft 49 East 21 Street #9A, which one day (soon?) will get its own blog post for having beaten its prior sale, just before The Peak in the overall Manhattan residential real estate market

Twelve days qualifies as “soon” in my book.

Speaking of sales above ask, I hit one of those nearby in my June 15, 2011, 49 East 21 Street loft shows the benefits (and PAIN) of timing. That was about the $100,000 premium over ask for loft #11C, a loft with many windows and a terrific floor plan. Obviously a strong sale, that #11C sale (at $1,266/ft) was not quite a record for the building on a $/ft basis. That distinction now belongs to loft #9A, at $1,443/ft with that $5,000 premium over ask.

(One last point ….) That $1,443/ft just beats the prior record holder in the building. I can’t believe I missed blogging about it, but loft #11A sold on May 6, 2011 at $1.95mm ($1,418/ft) in a private transaction between neighbors. (The purchasers own #12A, the unique real estate uniquely situated for a potentially extortionate sale; see my February 14 post for a thread about some sales like that.)

© Sandy Mattingly 2012

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