bloody competition at one Manhattan loft building

tight smiles in the elevator?
It has been a while since i have posted about active listings (even without identifying them). I suspect that it would be less than interesting to read many Manhattan Loft Guy posts that said, in essence, I’ve got a secret! But this one is just too juicy for me to contain…

There are three neighbors in a relatively small loft building (no more than 20 units) all offering for sale lofts in the same line, with the exact same footprint and with only slight variations in the floor plans (same number of bedrooms and baths in each). They all claim to have a high level of finishes. Because of how the building sits in relation to neighboring buildings, they all have very, very similar views and exactly the same quality of light.

They are not small and they are not cheap. Any buyer who has been looking at premium lofts probably knows which trio I am talking about and I can’t imagine why any buyer interested in visiting one would not visit all three.

In round numbers and with approximate dates, here is the outline:

on market asking $/ft originally
11 months $1,100/ft $1,240/ft
8 months $1,300/ft same
2 months $1,050/ft same

What’s even more interesting is that another neighbor sold this Summer. For some reason, that loft has a slightly smaller footprint than the 3 still-for-sale neighbors (7%), though with the same number of bedrooms and baths and with the same high level of finishes. At this scale I am not even sure that a buyer would discount that unit for being slightly smaller, and might well consider all four lofts as functionally equivalent. In fact, that unit sold for a bit more per foot than two of the still-for-sale units, at an actual price very close to the lowest of the 3 current asking prices.

thin market syndrome?
It may prove to be that the Sold unit attracted the single summertime buyer in this price range for this building. (It was really only directly competing with one neighbor then, just as the two lower price lofts are really only directly competing with each and not the high price loft.)

So it will be interesting to see when another buyer emerges. Given that summer sale, if I were a seller here I would be very tempted to hold the price in the $1,100/ft to $1,050/ft range, because that is where the last deal got done. But it looks as though the first of these pair to sell will be the one most negotiable for the (single??) next buyer.

The owner and agent of the high-priced outlier believe they have a $200/ft advantage based solely on finishes. Eight months in, how long can they afford to wait until someone else agrees with them?

neighbors, Hatfields + McCoys
I love these same-building discussions, especially when neighbors are directly competing against each other for a sale. I don’t recall another building with 3 essentially identical lofts for sale and a recent neighboring comp, but here is a selection of Neighborly Ruminations from the Manhattan Loft Guy archives:

May 11, 2010, 29 East 22 Street loft closes off 40%
April 9, 2010, closing at 40 West 15 St relieves ALL shareholders
March 9, 2010, 45 Crosby races to contract above ask / could it be a million dollar renovation?
May 6, 2009, pretty efficient (depressed) market at 505 Greenwich Street as both 6F and 7F sell, off 25%
April 17, 2009, break away to win the neighborly competition / so many lofts, so many dollars … but no sales (yet)
January 7, 2009, are they fooling only each other? / 3 neighbors push, 1 smiles
December 12, 2008, more unintended consequences in petri dish of Tribeca neighbors
December 7, 2008, selling the neighbor’s loft / unintended consequences in a Tribeca petri dish?
November 30, 2008, neighborly competition leads to neighborly mistakes? the laboratory at 24 East 22 Street

Enjoy! I will report back when all three competing lofts are sold or off the market.

© Sandy Mattingly 2010


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