150 Nassau Street loft takes 4 tiny price drops + 8 months to get deal

is “important” a new category of renovations?
On the one hand, I applaud an agent’s attempt to think outside the box (or, outside The Broker Babble Primer); on the other hand, I am not sure how I feel about “important renovations”. Would the ceiling or some walls have collapsed without them? Were they needed so that the toilets would flush? I will continue to mull this (and reserve the right to use it in the future if I change my mind!), but this sounds like an adjective too far. That’s not the real story regarding the recent sale of the “1,792 sq ft” Manhattan loft #12A at 150 Nassau Street, so let’s not get too distracted.

Aside from having some reason to take the summer off, these people needed to sell, but were rather reluctant to drop the price significantly:

Mar 29, 2011 new to market $1.695mm
April 24   $1.675mm
June 27   $1.625mm
July 27 hiatus  
Sept 19 back on market  
Oct 13   $1.599mm
Nov 28 contract  
Feb 6, 2012 sold $1.525mm

It took them 8 months (6, if you give them credit for taking off the summer), but the asking prices did what they were supposed to do: find a willing buyer in a negotiable range. But this sequence of price drops is unusual, at least for listings that eventually sell, or that avoid death by a thousand price cuts:

  • 1.18%
  • 2.98%
  • 1.6%

And the deal was struck at (only) 4.63% off the last ask and (only) 10% off the first ask. In other words, they were in range of a deal from the start.

come here often?
The two most interesting comps for #12A at $851/ft are the “1,793 sq ft” #13C on January 31 at $1.73mm ($965/ft) and the “1,792 sq ft” #11A on October 6, 2010 at $1.445mm ($806/ft). The former suggests the importance of views; the latter suggests that the “importance” of the #12A renovation might be quantified at around $45/ft.

Of course, we were just here, as I hit that #13C sale last week in a post with a title that told that story (in my February 20, 150 Nassau Street loft sells for building record). That post links to the other 4 Manhattan Loft Guy posts about this building, all since November 2010. In terms of functionality and size, #13C and #12A are just a half bath apart, as both are 3 bedrooms. Loft #13C was billed as in mint condition, but it is hard to say if that loft was improved since the 2002, or not. Both the “C” and the “A” lines are nearly square, with the “C” looking north and east with brag-worthy views, and the “A” east and west but no views that they spoke of (bragged about).

I see nothing other than views to materially distinguish #13C from #12A. The directly competed in the last phase of the #12A campaign (see above), with #13C coming out on October 24 at $1.725mm and finding a contract by November 17 at a tiny premium. Anyone who saw either #13C or #12A in those 24 days undoubtedly saw or knew of the other. Rarely do you see such a clean straight-up competition between functionally similar lofts of the same size, in the same building, at the same time. The Market preferred #13C to #12A by $205,000 or $114/ft. Other than view, how else to explain the 13% premium for #13C over #12A?

is it important to have a den?
The comp analysis between #12A and #11A is not as smooth as with #13C, but is straightforward nonetheless. That “important” renovation added one bit of functionality to #12A that I can see in comparing the two floor plans (I view the bragging about painting and additional lighting in #12A as pretty unimportant, frankly). #12A has that 3rd bedroom or den added between the master suite and the living room (everything else on the floor plan looks “existing” to me, other than splitting that 2nd bedroom closet into a pantry facing the kitchen and smaller closet into the bedroom), while #11A has the original configuration for the line, with a slightly larger master and a longer living room, where the 9’4” #12A den is.

I don’t see the overall Manhattan residential real estate market conditions being different when these top and bottom lofts went into contract (June 2010 and November 2011). The $45/ft spread between #11A and #12A is only a 5.6% premium in favor of #12A with the “important” den and pantry (and additional lighting and painting); that might just be market noise, or it might indicate a market premium for that den, or that upgrading the lighting and painting in a 2002 conversion helps a loft show better, and generate a higher value.

Most likely, this upstairs/downstairs comp analysis is an all-of-the-above situation: some (little) market noise + some (little) utility value + some (little) ‘show’ premium. Let’s not over-determine a small spread….

are they able to sleep through the night?
The 2nd bedroom is the only room in the loft that faces east. They have not bragged about river or Brooklyn Bridge views, as I mentioned above, but that exposure may still be significant, at least in the short term. In my December 28, 2011, did your attorney use The Google for due diligence? would help at 150 Nassau Street, I wondered about whether due diligence for potential buyers in this building should be expected to discover that some people in this building have been disturbed by noisy overnight repairs on the Brooklyn Bridge. I hope they are not surprised if the kid is cranky most mornings.

© Sandy Mattingly 2012


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