height matters for 51 Walker Street lofts, even 2 floors

if they are the right 2 floors
Perhaps it is Height Week on Manhattan Loft Guy … yesterday’s September 24, for 69 Murray Street loft, The Peak was then, and almost now, looked at different views, light and values from the 2nd floor to the 8th floor on a south Tribeca block; today the recent sale of the “1,550 sq ft” Manhattan loft #8A at 51 Walker Street provides the opportunity to examine the different views, light and (yes) values from the 6th floor to the 8th floor on a north Tribeca block. Once you know that Walker 51 was a 2007 residential loft condo conversion (i.e., the condition of lofts in the building will be very similar), the contrast between two identical loft sales is stark, revealed by these numbers: loft #8A sold for $2.265mm on August 29; loft #6A sold for $1.97mm on August 10. That is a 15% premium for the 8th floor over the 6th floor, or 14.68% for those of you who want to be precise about it.

#8A   April 14 new to market $2.275mm
  #6A April 18 new to market* $1.975mm
  #6A May 4 contract  
#8A   June 6 contract  
  #6A Aug 10 sold $1.97mm
#8A   Aug 29 sold $2.265mm

(*6A was also offered for sale for almost 6 months in 2011 at $1.75mm and $1.975mm without selling, in what both StreetEasy and the inter-firm data-base treat as the same listing as the 2012 campaign that [re]started 5 months ago; for my purposes here and for the Master List of Manhattan Lofts Sold Since November 2008 I treat the 2012 campaign as a new listing because the time off the market [7 months] exceeds my [arbitrary] limit of 90 days.)

That little * about #6A in 2011 is important, because otherwise you would be tempted to say that the #6A seller was just too modest, and left money on the proverbial table in getting a contract within 3 weeks at a 0.025% “discount”. Fact is, the seller gave it a 6-month shot in 2011, without selling. (Also, lest you think he was an uninformed rube, see the not-so-funny-fact at bottom.)

$295,000 worth of sky (and Chrysler Building)
These two lofts have the same floor plans (#6A here; #8A here) and both were brand new in 2007. To repeat (again!): $1.97mm and $2.265mm.

The #6A photos are a little bigger on the PruDE site than on StreetEasy, but you can see in both sets the building across Walker Street in the living room photo and the rear of the White Street buildings out the bedroom window photos.

In contrast, the #8A photos (in large format, of course) show rooftop and sky from both the north-facing living room windows and the south-facing bedroom windows. As the broker babble puts it, “open sky and city views including the Chrysler Building”.

Next time you get into a “what is a view worth?” discussion with someone who has a general theory (such as: a basic open view is worth xx% or $yyy and a premium /iconic / water view is worth half again as much), you can say that it is hard to generalize but in this little corner of northeast Tribeca the demonstrated value was 15%, or $295,000. (You win!)

If you want to win even more (more data points!!):

February 4, 2011, these water views from a 505 Greenwich loft are worth $370,000 (really)
March 20, 2010, a $2 million view on Madison Square? comping at 15 East 26 Street

Fans of the Chelsea Mercantile know that I have used the many sales there, with many different views, as a rich laboratory for exploring the value of views. Here are two from this year, from opposite poles (if views have “poles):

June 21,  small loft sale at 252 Seventh Avenue is another double-sided bold name transaction
January 20, privileged Chelsea Mercantile loft clears near $1,700/ft at 252 Seventh Avenue

You can find all Manhattan Loft Guy posts tagged “Chelsea Mercantile” here.

fun facts
These are fun facts because they are weird, given what you now know about the 2012 spread between the market value of #8A and #6A. The sponsor sales were the opposite of what you’d expect:

#6A Dec 13, 2006 $1,893,945
#8A Feb 15, 2007 $1,761,345

I have to guess that the #8A contract was signed much earlier than the #6A contract, even though the closings occurred in the opposite sequence, as often happens with new development sales. Otherwise, whwy would anyone have chosen to pay more for #6A instead of less for #8A??

not so funny fact
The agent who listed #6A has the unfortunate habit of LOCKING HIS CAPS in his broker babble, which makes the text painful for me to read. But I persevered enough to be confident that the words “broker/owner” “BROKER/OWNER” do not appear. (You will already have noted that the agent’s name matches the seller’s name on the deed record.)

I assume the buyer was informed that the agent representing the loft for sale was the unit owner, as is required in such cases by New York State law. I will never understand why agents in these situations don’t make it crystal clear from Day One by adding “broker/owner” to the babble. (I whined about this most recently in my June 7, agent sells Chelsea Mercantile loft from San Francisco.)

© Sandy Mattingly 2012


Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply