Prices Hit Record Highs in Tribeca & Soho as Buyers Bid-Up Co-ops during the 1st Quarter
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By Jacob Fine
Sale prices in Tribeca & Soho reached a record topping $1,696 per square foot during the first quarter as buyers – with nowhere else to turn amid a lack of supply – bid up prices on co-ops, according to MillerSamuel.com.
While co-ops typically sell at a significant discount to condos, that differential was nearly erased in the two neighborhoods during the quarter.
The average price of co-ops in Tribeca & Soho rose 28% during the quarter to $1,628 per square foot, from $1,269 at the end of 2013, while condo prices – weighed down by new development sales – rose just 4% to $1,713 in the area, according to data publicly available over Miller Samuel’s website.
The jump in co-op prices was enough to lower the discount that they typically sell for relative to condos in the area to just 5%, according to the New York appraisal and consulting firm’s data. Over the past ten years, co-ops have sold at prices that are, on average, 23% lower than condos.
Tribeca & Soho are unique in that co-ops typically represent less than 25% of sales in those neighborhoods, with condos making up the lion’s share, whereas across the rest of the city the reverse is typically true, with co-ops making up 75% of the inventory and condos making up a mere 25%.
Studios, which includes some of the neighborhoods’ famous loft spaces, rose a whopping 78% to $1,881 per square foot, according to MillerSamuel.com. Sale prices for big apartments, with four bedrooms or more, were up 42% at $2,030 per square foot during the quarter.
Prices on large apartments were predictably skewed higher by Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson’s headline sale of his sprawling 8,300 square foot loft at 155 Franklin. Jackson was asking $19.95 million for the pad, which would command a price tag of $2,401 per square foot. The property went into contract at the end of January and closed in mid-March.
Country music sensation Taylor Swift – who has been spotted checking out properties and shopping for arts and crafts supplies in lower Manhattan – is rumored to be the buyer.
The relatively priciest digs in Tribeca & Soho during the first quarter was a fourth floor three bedroom at 40 Mercer Street, which sold for over $6 million at $2,605 per square foot, according to the database maintained by the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY).
Two bedroom apartments in Tribeca & Soho were up 17% per square foot at $1,764 during the first quarter, while one bedroom units remained relatively stable at $1,401, and prices on three bedroom units sank 6% to $1,663 per foot, according to MillerSamuel.com.
While there was a substantial increase in inventory during the quarter, it proved to not be substantial enough to keep up with demand. According to Manhattan real estate analytics and consulting firm Urban Digs, Tribeca inventory rose almost 18% to 192 listings at the end of March, compared to 163 at year-end. Inventory in the neighborhoods of Soho, Noho and the West Village, which Urban Digs tracks as a group, rose 34% to 164 listings at the end of the first quarter.
Transactions in the two neighborhoods were up 33% during the quarter, MillerSamuel.com reported. There were 157 sales during the first quarter in Tribeca & Soho, compared to 118 during the fourth quarter of last year, according to the firm.
The first quarter’s chart topping sales prices of $1,696 per square foot for all of Tribeca & Soho combined, represented a 10% increase from the end of 2013, according to MillerSamuel.com. That is well ahead of the high of $1,476 during the first quarter of 2009 before the effects of the economic downturn could be felt.
But sales prices in Tribeca didn’t rise as much as they did across the rest of Manhattan, where MillerSamuel.com reported that the average price per square foot rose 15% to $1,363. That could be an indicator that buyers are experiencing some sticker shock in Tribeca & Soho, and are instead turning to other neighborhoods where they can get more space for their money.
While much of the rest of the city plays catch-up, we are not too worried about Tribeca & Soho, where prices remain 24% higher than Manhattan at large as the neighborhoods remain among the most sought after areas of the city.
Pricey new developments in Tribeca continue to bring wealthy residents to the area in increasing numbers, which will only lead to increased demand for high quality retail and services. That should bring in more high-end brands, which will only have a snowball effect for the neighborhood, making it even more attractive.
93 Worth Street dominated, with 31 sales during the first quarter, which tied it for the best selling new development in all of New York City with Woodside Terrace in Queens. Amenities at the office-to-condo conversion project on Broadway include a rooftop terrace with a kitchen and a dog-washing station.
Units in the building have been selling for an average of $1,374 per square foot, according to the REBNY database. That represents a considerable discount to the rest of neighborhood and therefore likely exerted some downward pressure on prices in the area during the quarter.
The project was home to the smallest sale price throughout all of Tribeca & Soho during the third quarter, as one buyer managed to snag a 475 square foot studio for just under half a million dollars.
93 Worth is part of a mini-boom of new developments on a four-block stretch of Broadway that is expected to double the number of residential units between Walker and Worth streets.
Per square foot, the best deal to be had in the area during the quarter may have been at 50 Franklin, where one buyer picked up a 993 square foot two bedroom for just over $940,000, which came out to $948 per square foot.
Click here for a full copy of The Tribeca/Soho Real Estate Report for the 1st Quarter, including graphs and charts, or stop by our 25 Hudson Street location and pick one up.