48 minutes ago
Friday, July 10, 2009
We enjoyed reading this rather simplistic but quite interesting analysis in The Real Deal yesterday, which highlighted the Manhattan condo buildings that saw the most In Contract units from March to May of this year as well as the most Closed units.
Curbed was all over the not surprising news that FiDi's 20 Pine is third on the list of ALL condo buildings in Manhattan with the most In Contract units, a general trend that we noted a couple of weeks ago. Although it's informative to look at In Contract units, these listings don't always end up in sales, particularly for new construction buildings where sponsors can easily fudge Streeteasy data (the source for the article) and undersold buildings far below the 70% threshold will not actually see any closings for one year or more. For example, on that same Real Deal list in 9th place is Battery Park favorite One Rector Park, a great but badly-timed building that needs to sell around 80 units just to get to the 50% mark and is itself anticipating that closing won't happen until Q1 of 2010 even though the building is finished and move-in ready. Given this information, do you really care that the building claims that 5 units went into contract in the Spring? We don't either...
A much more illuminating view of the condo market is the other piece of this story, which profiles the Manhattan condo buildings with the most closings in the Spring. Expecting to see a Harlem or Chelsea project on top of the list, we were instead truly surprised to see our old furry friend, FiDi's The William Beaver House topping the list for all of Manhattan with a tail-pounding 26 sales between March and May. What the heck, we wondered as we looked through the sales prices which were all exhorbitant (we'd say around $1200 per sq foot) with prices all over the place. For example, during those three months, the Beave sold 5 "G" line 1 BRs, nice units which we saw when we visited and reviewed the building back in May. Similarly located "G" line 1BRs sold for anywhere between $960,000 and a whopping $1.3 million in the same three month period. What does this tell us? Well, we're certainly tempted to conclude that these are closings from another era, full of investors that have been in contract for over a year and are finally just now being dragged to the closing table. Or...perhaps those buyers really, really want a room-sized bathtub.