67 Hudson Street loft closes off 9% from 2005, with long history

was it shy about the loss?
The sale of the “1,000 sq ft” Manhattan loft #3D at 67 Hudson Street is not new news, as the sale was way back on May 31. Nor was it new news when the deed was filed late, on September 26. It has been sitting on my Get To Me Sooner Or Later pile (formerly known as my To Do list) because it is one of the relatively rare 2011 Manhattan loft resales that sold at a loss from the last sale in 2005. Old news, yes; but interesting nonetheless, with even more interesting old news, as we will see.

  • July 15, 2005 $1.3mm
  • May 31, 2011 $1.2mm

It is not as though the 2005-buyer-at-$1.3mm-turned-2011-seller was ‘greedy’, especially when you factor in a renovation, as below (just a lover of nines):

Aug 5, 2010 new to market $1,399,999
Nov 5   $1.345mm
Jan 10, 2011 contract  
May 31 sold $1.2mm

you can’t measure greatness, but you can see some of it
The loft weighs in at “1,000 sq ft” and benefits from a corner location with two exposures, so there are enough windows to have two good-sized bedrooms and a (ahem) ‘great room’. Yes, the (ahem) ‘great room’ is nearly half again as large as the 16’ x 13’6” master bedroom, but calling a living / dining room ‘great’ at 18’7” x 17’ is some enthusiastic broker babbling. Not that there’s anything wrong with enthusiasm, especially not when all the details are clear.

I would not call that room great, obviously, but I would say that the floor plan is extremely efficient. (Seriously, you see a lot of larger lofts, and a great many apartments, in which the second bedroom is smaller than 12’6” x 10’10”.) The corner and dual exposures help, of course, and this particular corner helps a lot. This has to be one of the great 3rd floor views, down the wide Hudson Street to Gehry on Spruce Street and the Woolworth Building (see the 5th pic in full screen mode).

Unfortunately, the windows are not so large, and the ceilings not very tall (9 feet, per our data-base), so you probably have to be pretty close to those windows to get the premium view. But that is one heck of a view for a low floor.

With the efficient floor plan and corner exposures, this “1,000 sq ft” loft plays big, sort of like Charles Barkley in his prime. The opposite of the much larger lofts I hit in my November 21, cop loft sells at 240 Centre Street with challenging layout, off 46% from very first ask, and in my, November 16, O’Neill loft at 655 Sixth Avenue closes resells at 21% loss over 2007. Those are Lofts That Plays Small, more like Rik Smits.

about that renovation
I confess to having assumed from the sale prices in 2005 and 2011 that the loft must have been in the same condition for both sales. After all, isn’t a 9% hit over six years enough of a kick in the proverbial teeth? You can’t tell from StreetEasy (the old sale is just outside its history) but our data-base has the shocking pix and floor plan from 2005.

That 2005 buyer moved the door to the second bedroom from the foyer to french doors open to the living room (providing a more open feel, no doubt) and completely re-did the kitchen without moving any major pieces. The cabinet fronts (at least) are all new, with a new backsplash, new appliances (including a hood that might just vent outside), a rebuilt island with wine frig and power, and new granite counters (including on the island).

The guy paid $1.3mm in 2005 and out in a new kitchen and made some other minor small changes. See what I mean about not being greedy at $1,399,999 in August 2010? I would understand this history if the seller had come out in Fall 2008 and stayed on the market through the nuclear winter, finally accepting a discount in a thin market. But the market a year ago was not significantly worse than the current market, and much better than the market of early 2009.

Yet the guy improved the loft and could not sell above his 2005 purchase price. Props to him for taking what The Market would give. Shocking that it did not give more.

different story downstairs
The only other recent paired sale was the much smaller (“600 sq ft”) loft #2C, which sold on May 18, 2011 at a 7% premium to its prior sale on February 1, 2007. It was in great condition in 2007:

11 foot ceilings and two exposures … a Varenna Poliform Kitchen, Sub-Zero Refrigerator, Washer/Dryer and a wonderful built-in table with storage. Lovely Brazilian Cherry hardwood floors are a nice contrast to the modern skim-coated white walls and high ceilings. … This home feels bigger than it is due to the light and volume ….

Obviously, the overall Manhattan residential real estate market was getting frothy in early 207, on the way to the single deepest and sharpest market we have seen. Yet that #2C 2007-buyer-turned-2011-seller made out comparatively much better than the #3D 2005-buyer-turned-2011-seller.

Did I mention that The Market is not fair? Or rational?

There is a chance that all of this weirdness is caused by the 2011 seller having overpaid for #3D in 2005. I don’t have enough comp data from 2005 close at hand to have an opinion about this, other than that is always a possibility in a specific paired resale analysis. But I do have data suggesting that the 2005 purchase was The Market. Per our data-base:

May 5, 2005 new to market $1.2mm
May 19
offer accepted  
May 31
July 15 sold $1.3mm

That, my friends is a bidding war. There was at least one other buyer willing in May 2005 to pay at least as much as the loft later sold for in 2011 (after being improved).

Individual data points are not The Market. This guy got screwed.

fun facts, with a major twist in 1997
This long sales history of #3D from StreetEasy is deep and deeply weird. I wonder if that second buy was a foreclosure.

  • May 31, 1996 $234,500
  • May 27, 1997 $175,000
  • Sept 9, 1997 $381,00
  • May 27, 2003 $776,500
  • July 15, 2005 $1.3mm
  • May 31, 2011 $1.2mm

Property Shark shows that the first buyer (and second seller) in this sequence was a lender, as that lender filed a lis pendens in 1995. Guy must have refinanced, as he bought in 1985 (price unknown, but it had to be pretty low.) Lender probably did not want to hold long, but it took a year to get out. Then the next buyer flipped in about 100 days, selling at more than twice what he paid. Fun stuff!

Look at that jump from 2003 to 2005! (But remember that there was a bidding war in 2005.)

One can say that there were two unlucky owners of loft #3D going back 25 years: the guy who got foreclosed on, and the guy who just sold. And maybe that bank. Two did awfully well: that 1997 flipper and the guy who held for 26 months capped by that 2005 bidding war. Sometimes it is better to be luck than smart, no?

This history is an example of Manhattan real estate as a spectator sport … fun stuff, indeed!

© Sandy Mattingly 2011


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