more skirmishing: 58 Walker Street loft zooms through market above ask

what is short and sweet, and worth $1,258/ft?
The “1,927 sq ft” Manhattan loft on the 3rd floor at 58 Walker Street had a short and sweet marketing campaign: to market on August 6 at $2.395mm, in contract at $2.425mm by August 19, and sold on October 18. That’s 2 weeks to contract and 10 weeks to closed, if you are scoring at home. If you remember Monday’s post about skirmishing (November 5, a bidding skirmish? 142 Duane Street loft nudged above ask), this skirmish may have been a little more intense (that one went from $1.895mm to an even $1.9mm), but a $30,000 premium over an ask of $2.395mm is still only 1%. Still, any premium over ask is a nice thing (for a seller), especially one who bought the loft from the sponsor in 2003 for $1,308.429.

an awful lot of brick
You often see ‘classic’ Manhattan lofts with exposed brick, but you don’t often see them with this much exposed brick. On this typical Long-and-Narrow floor plan, all the exterior walls are fully bricked: the 3 walls in the living room, the one in the dining area, and two in each of the bedrooms. With 12 foot ceilings and 24 feet of width, that’s a brick lover’s dream space. And a space for duct-lovers, too (if there are such people), as the air conditioning ducts and other utilities are exposed.

That Long-and-Narrow footprint has one side window, but it is not clear from the dining room photo (pic #2) that there is anything out there to see (is that frosted glass in that window?), so the loft relied on the 3 windows front and back for light. Plumbing is split along the long east wall, in this case providing significant separation from the public areas up front to the bedrooms in the rear, with that long hallway between the public stairwell on the west and the bathrooms and utility rooms on the east.

Finishes appear to be exactly those built by the sponsor in 2003, from the cherry and granite kitchen to the bamboo flooring to the stone baths. But The Market likes this look better this year than last.

hyper-locally, 2012 is rather stronger than 2011
It does not often work this way, but The Market has a relatively recent essentially identical loft sale: the “1,927 sq ft” 4th floor loft sold last year. The floor plans are identical, the broker babble equivalent, and even the speed and level of market response were similar. But the values are rather different: the 4th floor needed only 6 weeks last year to find a deal at the full ask, which is not quite as short and sweet as the 3rd floor this year, but that price was only $2.15mm. From July 2011 to October 2012, the hyper-local market at 58 Walker Street improved 13%!

This is not a pairing result that is likely to be typical of the overall Manhattan residential real estate market, or even of the downtown Manhattan loft niche of that market. But neither is it ‘wrong’: facts are facts. The 3rd floor just sold 13% higher than the identical 4th floor, 15 months later.

The 4th floor could have sold last year at full ask with only a single bidder, so long as the seller was firm and the buyer was nervous. Not likely that the 3rd floor just sold with less than two bidders, not at a $30,000 premium to the ask.

The Market is The Market is The Market. But that doesn’t mean any individual sale is rational.

memory lane keeps leading to this door
58 Walker Street has only 5 units, but it has been a popular lure for Manhattan Loft Guy posts. Among three (!) posts here in 2011 was one about the 4th floor sale. In my August 16, 2011, when neighbors really compete, market can be quite efficient, as at 58 Walker Street, I hinted that the 4th floor sale may have been constrained by the competing 2nd floor listing, with the two lofts campaigns overlapping (and ending) in remarkably similar fashion (see the post for the parallel details). I said:

Whatever one thinks (or assumes, or guesses), The Market valued these essentially identical lofts as essentially identical. It is nice to see that that really happens once in a while.

Perhaps one of those two lofts could have come out to a higher value, if the other had not also come out at the same time. Interesting speculation, given the recent 3rd floor history.

My other 2011 posts about 58 Walker Street were July 24, 2011, 58 Walker Street loft recalibrates after missing Peak, sells 20% off old ask, and June 3, 2011, 11 months to sell 58 Walker Street penthouse loft at (eventually) modest discount. The loft that “recalibrated” was the one that competed with the 4th floor, before selling at $2.125mm; the penthouse sale in the other post was a different sort of loft, with an odd mezzanine level and full private roof deck.

© Sandy Mattingly 2012

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