in Tribeca, much better to have been the second owner of this 1 York Street loft than the first

loft gymnastics on the upper edge of Tribeca: what a real estate back flip looks like

This kind of move is not easy to pull off: the guys who bought the “1,784 sq ft” Manhattan loft #4F at 1 York Street from the sponsor in June 2008 sold in 2010 at a loss of about $376,000. That buyer got The Memo (you know it: the punchline is buy low, sell high) and just resold for a $700,000 gain. That’s a weird sequence, suggesting that the original buyers were under some financial duress. From June 2008 to November 2013 (up 13%) actually looks great in relation to the StreetEasy Manhattan Condo index (“up” only 1% from Then to Now), but there was a bloodbath in between.

The middle part of this sequence is what duress must look like:

June 26, 2008 sponsor sale $2,596,537
Dec 31, 2008 new to market $2.85mm
May 15, 2009 $2.795mm
May 27 $2.695mm
July 21 $2.545mm
Aug 25 $2.495mm
Mar 30, 2010 contract
April 9 sold $2.22mm
Jan 9, 2013 new to market $3.3mm
Mar 6 $3.15mm
June 28 change firms
Aug 30 contract
Nov 22 sold $2.925mm

Here’s another data point on the same path: according to our listings system there were 39 weekend open houses between January 4, 2009 and March 14, 2010 … that’s 39 weekends with open houses out of 62 possible weekends. Busy agents, and sellers who have spent an amazing amount of time getting their home into open house condition.

Obviously, something happened that made it important to these owners to sell this place, something that caused these folks to start selling at the depth of market trough, and then keep digging deeper and deeper and trying harder and harder. Indeed, as the rest of the market was recovering the original owners dropped below their original cost, and then further. It took 8 months below that cost to find their exit, at another 10% off the last asking price.

If this sounds familiar to you, you’ve been reading Manhattan Loft Guy since May 9, 2010, when my flipping (down) at One York / is this the first resale?, was a brief hit that opened with:

Looks to me as though the Manhattan loft  #4F at 1 York Street (imaginatively known as One York) has been the first to flip, and it was not a happy Ozzie Smith flip.

In fact, that was the first flip in the building, with the sponsor continuing to sell units into May 2011 (StreetEasy building page, Past Activity tab, here).

some recent history, a nearby loft that casts doubt

Fun as it was (for me) to revisit this classic from 2010, let’s turn to the happy news and the happier owner. Guy bought for $2.22mm in April 2010, sold for $2.925mm 43 months later. $705,000 = fun! (As is 32%, especially when ‘the feel’ you get for the overall Manhattan residential real estate market from the StreetEasy Index is that the overall market was up [only] 18%).

Only a quibbler would point out that the same unit, one floor above, sold for $3.05mm on July 11, 2012, and would point out that that #5F sale implies that #4F should have sold 16 months later, say 10% more if the only comp adjustment were time.

Yes, that comp suggests #4F should have sold for more than it did. On the other hand the original owner was the #5F seller, and he made just a tad short of a half million bucks on the deal. The recent #4F seller was the second owner (as we have seen) and he made just over $700,000 (ditto). So all dollars are relative, even if the #4F seller left a few on the table.

He tried for more (asking $3.3mm and $3.15mm) before ‘settling’ at $2.925mm after 8 months of marketing. StreetEasy Index be damned, that looks like the best the market would offer, which is (by definition) a fair price. And: $705,000.

celebrity non-sighting

I originally thought the well-timed buyer-turned-seller might have been an MTV exec, but the middle initials don’t match. Nonetheless, nicely played, sir Robert T.; nicely played.



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