more angst at $1,000/ft / feels like 2005 in Tribeca as contract (finally) signed

plop plop, fizz fizz
I am going to mention this Manhattan loft contract signing while my eyes are still bulging; I will update with a clearing price when (if??) it closes and the price is available. My eyes widened — but did not bulge  — when I saw that this awfully large loft in an awfully classic Tribeca condominium conversion from late in the last century (the cast iron went up late in the century before that) went into contract off an asking price of essentially $1,000/ft after an awfully long time on the market. What caused my eyes to bulge was the detail of the listing history: offered first at nearly $1,500/ft, it languished for 8 months; then it had 6 other (lower 😉 prices in the 5 months it took to get into contract, among them two different 10% drops (yes, it takes a few big steps to go from $1,500/ft to asking $1,000/ft).

oh what a relief it is
This loft was professionally marketed, though unsuccessfully for such a long time. It took two firms and two very accomplished agents. The quarterly market reports for the market in which this loft came to market had nothing but good news for a seller: continued record pricing, continued strong buyer activity. Tick, tick, tick ….

For reasons obviously unknown to me, the seller was slow in adapting, and did not drop the price even once until weeks after the fall of the house of Lehman. At that point, not even a 10% drop would help, as the seller — once adaptive — struggled mightily to find The Market (witness the 6 drops).

is that 2005 I see in the mirror?

Retrospect is, as they say, priceless. A big price drop early might have been enough to catch some of that 2007-like market. Instead, the asking price that finally generated a contract in 2009 is within 7% of the price this seller paid four years ago — and the clearing price (when we see it) could well be lower than that 2005 price. Even in Tribeca. Even in a (nice) condo.

Note that this is not one of those ‘typical Tribeca coops’ that I wrote about in my March 10 post, the end of a $1,000/ft baseline for Tribeca coop lofts? This loft is not only a condo, it is in a conversion that is less than 15 years old, and its Long-and-Narrow footprint has a relatively wide ‘Narrow’ (25 feet) and some windows on both Long sides (affording a layout with real bedrooms in the middle of the unit). While the original price was certainly aggressive (at plus $2mm over the 2005 purchase price), there were condo lofts not very far from this one that were closing around $1,500/ft back then.

I don’t think that Alka Seltzer would have been a strong enough tonic for this owner, slow as s/he was in adapting to The Market.


© Sandy Mattingly 2009  


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