2005 pricing at The Printing House, 421 Hudson Street

one-third of the way from February 2005 to June 2006 = about July 2005
The Manhattan loft #709 at 421 Hudson Street cleared at $1.64mm on May 29, 2009. They wanted more, of course, having started at $1.995mm in October 2008. But they ended up at a price from about the middle of 2005.

If the value of #709 could be plotted on a graph as a straight line, the May 2009 price of $1.64mm would be about July 2005, based on these data points (clearing prices):

February 2005 $1.6mm
June 2006 $1.715mm

This "1,500 sq ft" duplex loft features a "tastefully renovated" chef’s kitchen (Carrara + stainless), a double height living room, and "breathtaking" views. The sellers thought it was worth more than they had paid for it in June 2006, so they brought it to market in October 2008 at $1.995mm. Two quick (small) price drops (to $1.895mm) were followed by 3 months of public stubbornness (no change in asking price), but secret flexibility: when they struck a deal in February they negotiated to $1.64mm, a decent 13% off the asking price. Props to them (and their agent, Richard Orenstein of Halstead) for recognizing that they should take what The Market was offering.

quiet competition, envy
The #709 sellers may or may not have known that their neighbors in #706 were also interested in selling. There is no listing associated with the April 1 sale of #706, but it sold to the owners of #505 for $1.73mm. These buyers seem to have held on to #505 as well, which is kind of interesting. They obviously can’t combine #505 and #706, so one wonders how that private deal was struck. City records show #706 as "1,279 sq ft", so that is a significant per-foot premium over #709 ($1,352/ft vs. $1,093/ft). Without a listing to refer to, I have no way of knowing the condition of #706, or whether it was finished to that much higher a level than #709.

Interesting also that #709 was sold to someone in the building. The people who bought #709 on May 29 sold the smaller #604 ("912 sq ft") on May 28 for $1.025mm. If I am reading the respective histories on StreetEasy correctly, the #604 sellers signed a contract to buy #709 before they signed to sell #604. That’s brassy.

The #614 trading price of $1,123/ft suggests that the private sale of #706 is the outlier price of 2009 in this building, rather than the #709 price. The #706 buyers (who were and remain #505 owners) must have really wanted that loft.

another battle of 2005 vs. 2009, with 2005 winning BIG (if a fair fight)
All this detail got me looking at other clearing prices at the Printing House, so I found one more loft that has changed hands twice since 2005. Assuming that both sides were arm’s length transactions (I will explain in a moment), #603 traded in September 2005 at $1.625mm and again on July 17, 2008 at $1.45mm. There are no listings in StreetEasy associated with either of these sales, and the sale last year was to an LLC, so it may not have been arm’s length; if it was, that unit dropped in value by about 11% in 3 years, pre-Lehman. (No idea of size or condition.)

© Sandy Mattingly 2009


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