one Downtown by Starck loft pulls head above water, up 9% since 2006, another is down 4% since 2007

it gets complicated
When the Manhattan mini-loft #2828 at 15 Broad Street in the uber-conversion modestly known as Downtown By Philippe Starck sold on May for $615,566, that seller realized a (gross) gain of $50,438 over the purchase from the sponsor on December 29, 2006 at $565,128. The fact that there was a gain is almost certainly due to (relative) happenstance of timing, not of the resale but of the original purchase as 2006 closed.

The (literal) good fortune of having purchased #2828 early from the sponsor contrasts with nearby mini-loft #2324, which just re-sold on June 1 for $660,000, or $943/ft for the “700 sq ft” here, compared to $1,006/ft for the “612 sq ft” #2828. Loft #2324 was originally bought from the sponsor on March 28, 2007 at $687,318, so that original buyer realized a (gross) loss of $27,318 on the recent sale (4%).

You could say that these two small lofts drive trends in opposite directions for this ridiculously-amenitied conversion, but you could also say that it is easier to profit if you bought lower than if you bought higher. In the sponsor sales, #2324 went for $982/ft, #2828 for $923/ft. I would guess that the sponsor filed at least one amendment restating offering prices in the (roughly 90) days between the original contract signings of these two lofts (contract signings should have about the same calendar spread as purchase dates). With some time to re-think pricing, the developer thought that #2324 was worth $49/ft more than #2828; 4+ years later, The Market prefers #2828 to #2324 by $63/ft.

In both pairs of mini-loft sales, one could say that the difference between these two lofts is simply data ‘noise’, that the sponsor sales were at more-or-less $950/ft and the recent pair of resales were at more-or-less $975/ft.

I did not note these little sales at 15 Broad Street because I pay a lot of attention to this building (I don’t; it is definitely not in my sweet spot as a Manhattan loft snob) but because of the contrast with the post sponsor sale experience I noted yesterday at 52 Thomas Street (52 Thomas Street loft knocks resale out of the park, up 17% since 2008), where one original 2008 buyer made out rather extraordinarily well (inexplicably so, if I may [again] repeat myself).

with a proper alibi, more fun data
Now that I have claimed a bit of ignorance about this huge development (326 units), I will just highlight and not try to explain two other recent loft resales at 15 Broad Street, because they have completely different stories than either of the two little lofts.

The “2,300 sq ft” #1720 probably deserves a post of its own (note to self …) but I started this #2828 post and I am determined to finish it before the holiday weekend really kicks off. It was originally purchased on July 7, 2006 for $1,832,850 (6 months earlier still than #2828; remember: “buy low”) and recently resold (May 27) for $2.2mm, a very neat (gross) gain of 20%. I would be digressing mightily if I talked more about the many and long efforts to re-sell in each of 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011, but I need to get on with the holiday. (Note to self, repeated.)

Then there is #3920, a “3,216 sq ft” that just re-sold in a private transaction for $3.8mm (May 24). (Another note to self: one day, maybe, look at those buyers, who just moved way downtown from the Chelsea Mercantile.) #3920 does have a public history: it was sold by the sponsor on November 1, 2007 (N.B., relatively late) for $3,599,513 and was flipped early and well on December 29, 2008 at $4mm.

Looking past that first flip for a minute, the unit is up 5.6% from November 2007 to May 2011, but the middle owner (the recent seller) had a different experience, selling five weeks ago for 5% less than the December 2008 purchase price.

Let’s just say that it can very complicated trying to draw trend conclusions about such a large new development, with so many resales, unless you are willing to do all the work to put the 4 most recent resales in more context.

Let’s also say that I am not willing to do that today. Have a great holiday weekend. Happy birthday, Uncle!

© Sandy Mattingly 2011


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