Now Rewinding on 34th

By Dave Fratello | April 25th, 2011
It was 3 months ago that we first took note of a listing for a home last purchased in 2006, for which the 2011 asking price was a bump up, not a rewind.

It so happened that earlier that same week in January, we had covered 2 other resales that had closed well below their 2006 acquisition prices. But 224 34th (4br/4ba, 3700 sq. ft.) was going to buck that trend.

Our first post was called "Not Rewinding on 34th," but now we have cause to change one letter. For the first time, 224 34th now is rewinding, priced below acquisition at $2.790m.

Not that this move came easily. Last month, 34th pulled a bogus re-list and raised the asking price, from $2.999m to $3.089m. It was a curious reaction to 2 months' worth of not selling. But then, Spring was really springing all over, and the talk around town was about how things were on fire.

Why, next door, the Porsche Party House (228 34th) had come and gone quickly, listing in mid-February and drawing multiple bids, cutting a deal within 2 weeks. That was after 3 years of on-and-off failed listings, with prices ranging from $3.999m down to $2.999m. By taking another half million off, they finally got the balance right. (See "Getting Down to Business at 34th.")

Our best info on 228 34th is that it will close near the asking price of $2.550m. That would be a PPSF of about $735/PSF, which would then translate to a $2.712m price for 224 34th before we consider condition. In reality, the Porsche Party House needs significant work, while 224 is a crisp, taut, showpiece that's completely ready to go. 

Assuming they find a buyer this year – all the more likely now that the psychological barrier of selling for less than the purchase price has been broken – the question will become how to measure the rewind at 224 34th. 

Recall that the 2006 acquisition price was $2.925m according to public records, but $3.0m according to the MLS. The difference reflects the infuriating occasional practice of "inflating" an MLS-reported price when one agent doesn't take a commission. The buyers' agent, in this 2006 purchase, passed on getting paid.

Meantime, there's also the question of how to measure today's cut. Is it 10% down from the last (increased) list price? Or 7% off the start price?

All that fussy comparing will be purely academic if and when 224 34th finally finds a buyer.

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