21 minutes ago
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Like many New Yorkers, we get just a little bit excited every Saturday (or Sunday morning if you're buying at the newsstand) to read the New York Times Real Estate section, long the guilty pleasure of owners and renters alike who enjoy reading the timely cover stories (including this week's article about rental scam artists) and following people just like you and me in columns like "The Hunt".
Although we devour the Real Estate Section, one weekly column that we usually only glance at is called "Residential Sales Around the Region" which features four columns of price ranges and apartments/houses that "sold" in each of those ranges in various areas around New York City and surrouding suburbs. Based on the language in this section, we had always assumed that the residences featured here were actually "sold" (e.g. there was deed transfer) and that the sales price was actually the amount that the buyer paid the seller at closing.
Normally, we don't recognize the properties featured in this column, which usually sell for around the asking price (starting to smell fishy already in this market) and have sometimes been on the market for as little as 2 weeks (ditto). Today however, we did recognize a property: 60 Beach Street in Tribeca, where according to the New York Times, a 3BR, 2BA just "sold" for $3.75 million which also happened to be the listing price (yeah, right).
Although this condo conversion is seriously out of our price range, we're still vaguely familiar with the development and are almost 100% certain that nothing has started closing there yet. When we poked on over to Streeteasy/ACRIS, it turns out that we are right. There have been no deeds filed at this building, so whatever the NYT considers to be "sold" is either "In Contract" (which is not sold New York Times, hello) or (best case) this $3.75 million apartment is the very first closing at 60 Beach Street and the paperwork is on it's way to City Hall.
Either way, we're certainly a touch annoyed. Come on NYT...we've occasionally defended you against naysayers that claim that you are industry lackeys but this is a tad egregious. Did this unit really sell? If so, who the heck is paying the asking price for a $3.75 million unit, a price range that we all know is severely distressed and would never generate this type of sale.