double bold-faced loft sale at 354 Broome Street: a harbinger or just a Bright Shiny Object?

getting tired of the Jedi mind trick
The recent sale of the Manhattan loft #3H at 354 Broome Street was a Bright Shiny Object for Jessica Gould Keil in the New York Post last week, in part because she was able to run a Victoria’s Secret photo. (How could the Post avoid a Victoria’s Secret photo?) The hook for music fans of a certain age was the connection to The Strokes. The hook for Manhattan Loft Guy was the gain from 2010. (Simple me.) The same loft that sold for $1.025mm in January 2010 just sold again for $1.25mm. Efficient market fans would hope that the loft was dramatically improved in the intervening 2 years, but I have given you enough hints to know that this loft will disappoint the rational market fans.

I can find some differences in the condition of the loft circa 2010 and currently, but not enough to account for the recent 22% gain. This was then:

Triple mint architecturally designed Pre-war loft … . this 1015 sq ft loft features original columns, 10 ft + beamed ceilings, 2 spa like bathrooms (with heated floors), 2 fully outfitted walk in closets and an over-sized master bedroom with en suite bath. The Chef’s Poggenpohl kitchen sports Sub-Zero/ Miele appliances … in ceiling BandW 2-zone sound system, central air conditioning and custom Poliform walk in closets.

This is now:

architecturally designed loft …. generous master suite with custom Poliform walk-in closet, this approximately 1,015-square foot 2-bathroom loft with office/library …. Poggenpohl kitchen includes a Sub-Zero refrigerator and Miele appliances: dishwasher, built-in coffee maker, gas cooktop, and convection oven. … central air conditioning, an enormous utility closet, heated floors in the bathrooms, in-ceiling BandW 2-zone sound system, and original columns.

The floor plans show that the kitchen used to have a larger footprint and there was a now-absent wall setting off an office in front (then, now). But the two sets of babble imply the same high-end finishes throughout, including the sound system and Poliform closets.

was that then, and is this now?
Of course, I cheated a bit in describing the earlier sale as a 2010 sale. Yes, it closed for $1.025mm on January 25, 2010 but that contract was entered into by November 6, 2009.

The November 2009 market was a post-Thaw market, but just barely. One could make a rational argument that the "2010" sale was not in equivalent conditions to the current market, but $225,000 does not leave enough room for rationality, in my mind, at least.

Regular readers of Manhattan Loft Guy know that I tend to focus on Bright Shiny Objects, usually being sales that are ‘interesting’ for working against the overall trend lines of the Manhattan residential real estate market. Lately, that has sometimes taken the form of wondering whether a Jedi mind trick is to blame for certain recent sales at higher prices without a matching increase in the quality of the loft. For example:

Not to go all Nostradamus on ya, but I have to wonder if this type of BSO sale is not so much an outlier but the sign of a market in transition, and that the trend line will (eventually) show that The Market began to pick up in mid 2012. Not predicting, remember; just wondering. Now I have another filter for my Confirmation Bias to work through. You’ve been warned.

building record: shattered!
The last three sales in the building were at substantially lower values than #3H at $1,232/ft. The “[d]ramatic and beautifully designed” #4C sold at $903/ft in September 2011; the “dramatic” loft #6B with “generous chef’s kitchen” sold for $935/ft in May 2011; and the (yes, again) “dramatic” loft #5E  with “beautifully renovated and minimal kitchen” (not sure what that means) sold for $911/ft in December 2010. With one exception, you have to go to just after The Peak to see a 4-figure price per foot, when the loft #5G (“Triple Mint Architectural Renovation”) sold at $1,088/ft.

That #5G sale seems to be the building record, as of a month ago, though it was challenged by the 2010 sale of loft #3H (you remember: $1.025mm, or $1,010/ft).

Now look again at #3H on June 27, 2012: $1.25mm, or $1,232/ft. Maybe a Jedi mind trick, after all….

© Sandy Mattingly 2012

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  1. […] was to note the setting of a new building record (on a price per foot basis), in my July 23, 2012, double bold-faced loft sale at 354 Broome Street: a harbinger or just a Bright Shiny Object?, not to snark about the ability of the New York Post to find a way to link to Victoria’s […]

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