When properties don’t sell, why do asks go up?

The studio in question does have a $1 million view.

Consider a Central Park West studio that was listed in March of 2009 at an asking price of $985,000 with monthly maintenance of $1,204.

Unsold, the co-op was taken off the in August and re-listed with the current broker in September for $950,000.  In January, the maintenance climbed to $2,200.

Last month, the price actually went up, to $1 million.

It is hardly my objective to second-guess the brokers involved, but the history of the apartment in question is not so unusual.  It’s hard to avoid wondering what it was that prompted the seller, in all likelihood with the broker’s prompting, to go up instead of down.

The situation gives me an opportunity to muse why some properties undergo price increases even as the majority of price changes are decreases.  Here are my (charitable) speculations:

  • Seller and broker have a perception that the market is more robust than at the time of listing;
  • A new sale in the same building or in a closely comparable apartment turns out to be higher than expected;
  • The owner has made improvements to the place;
  • Changing the price attracts renewed attention, if only via automatic update e-mails from broker databases;
  • A reassessment of the original price;
  • A belief that buyers searching for a more expensive property are overlooking one that meets their requirements at a surprisingly low price;
  • Desperation–if one price after another doesn’t work, try anything else.

Readers, if you have additional thoughts, please do share them with all of us.

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201

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