99 Reade Street loft sales show sound and fury in market, but it’s no tragedy

unless The Market is down 8% in 4 months
If I told you that the Manhattan loft #5W at 99 Reade Street (Reade Court) closed on April 11 down % compared to #3W four months earlier, with the same footprint and in similar condition, you’d be entitled to think that the hyper-local loft market had taken a hit in those snowy months. But as the fabled trustafrians in Williamsburg lofts may or may not know, “entitled” is not the same as “right”. Almost certainly, the right explanation for the difference between these two highly comparable Manhattan loft closings is that … stuff happens [see bottom].

This stuff:

Sept 23, 2010 new to market $1.95mm
Oct 30 contract  
Dec 2 sold $2.075mm
Nov 11 new to market $1.95mm
Feb 18, 2011 contract  
April 11 sold $1.925mm

Maybe you can find $150,000 in the difference between the two bits of babbling (I can’t):

[A] This sunny 3 Bedroom (currently used as a 2 Bedroom and den), 2 Bathroom pre-war home is located on one of Tribeca’s most charming blocks. Exposed brick is complemented by north facing windows in the vast living/dining room, and south facing windows in the bedrooms. The open chef’s kitchen is perfect for entertaining, featuring white lacquer cabinetry, Cesarstone countertops, Viking range and hood, Fisher & Paykel dishwasher, GE Profile refridgerator and Franke garbage disposal. Generous pantry features Bosch W/D. The master bath boasts a huge shower with body sprays, travertine floors, Porcher sink, Robern medicine cabinets and Grohe and Jado fittings. Beautiful floors, base molding and heavy solid core doors with invisible hinges are crafted from red oak. Other features include wood-burning fireplace, large his & hers custom-fitted closets, and basement storage.


[B] sun-drenched 2 Bedroom, 2 Bathroom elegant loft is located on one of Tribeca’s most charming blocks. High ceilings complemented by huge North facing windows in the living room and South facing windows in the bedrooms – features abundance of light all day long! Chef’s kitchen is perfect for entertaining, featuring Viking stove, Sub-Zero fridge, Bosch dishwasher and a lovely Waterworks farm sink. Walk-in Butler’s pantry with W/D, abundant space for appliances and storage.Grand and glorious Master Suite has a beautiful, original, Corinthian column, will leave you speechless with gorgeous Waterworks Italian marble tiles, Steam shower, and over size Jacuzzi tub. The second bedroom features Artisan-crafted, walnut custom built- in closets and storage space. Other features include wood-burning fireplace, bleached maple Boa-Franc floors, all custom-fitted closets, abundant storage throughout the unit.

They even started out asking the same price.

things I would love to know
It is obvious that there were at least two potential buyers interested in #3W in October, right? Otherwise someone would not have signed a contract by October 30 at an $80,000 premium to the asking price.

I would love to know if the ‘loser’ on that deal (the bidder who was outbid in October) stayed around for the #5W campaign that began on November 11. Perhaps not, as #5W took until February 18 to get a contract and you’d think that the jilted #3W bidder would not have needed that long to strike a deal on the new listing. But I would love to know if that #3W loser might have been the #5W winner, saving $150,000 in the process.

Chestnut #1 & Chestnut #2
It was just yesterday that I referred to

that hoary chestnut it only takes one (to sell) and it only takes two (to get a bidding war)

It certainly looks as though #5W sold at a slight discount to ask because it only takes one, yet #3W was luckier in selling at a sligt premium to ask because it only takes two.

Don’t leap to any conclusions and mis-use this pair as comps. Chances are, the difference is truly a matter of luck, or some other element of market ‘noise’, signifying nothing (as The Bard might have put it).

mind the gap
Perhaps the #5W sellers remembered that they bought in December 2003, one month after the neighbors in #3W who just sold. If so, they may not feel too badly for #5W not having gotten the same price as #3W, as it already happened in 2003:

  • #3W Nov 3, 2003 sold $950,000
  • #5W Dec 23 sold $860,000

What was then a 10.5% premium of #3W over #5W is now a 7.8% premium. Stuff happens, and the gap has narrowed.

A tale told by an idiot?

[UPDATE 4.27: maybe an idiot, indeed! With a hint from Twit buddy @jammypup, I looked more closely at the pix and babble, noting the claim of "high ceilings" on the 3rd floor but not the 5th floor. I need to do a new post with that difference in mind, as there is one other 3-5 pair of interest. Hence: note to self…]

© Sandy Mattingly 2011

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