Out and About: Is the price on target?

The four-bedroom, three-bath co-op on Central Park West in the low 90s first went on the market in February.  The price then was $1.595 million.

In May, the owner cut the price to $1.495 million.  And in June, down it went another $100,000, to $1.395 million with monthly maintenance of $3,848.  (Yeah, I know, you could do the math yourself.)

The attractively renovated corner apartment then took a temporary break for the summer, returning last month.  The price was unchanged.  Good decision?

First, a bit about the 1,800-sf unit, which I first saw last spring.

You need to know that it is on the first floor of a handsome 1925 doorman building that has a fitness room and allows pets with the board’s approval.

All four bedrooms front Central Park West, where bus and other traffic rumbles along that thoroughfare.  The public spaces, including an extravagantly large, stylish and more or less open kitchen face the side street and do not benefit from their southern exposure at such a low level.

Without regard to the street issues, the co-op itself has much merit: Certainly, there is demand for large apartments, the building is desirable and the condition is very good.

Going back six months in my admittedly crude analysis, only 23 co-ops of that size are listed on the entire stretch of Central Park West for $1 million to $2 million.  Of the 23, only 10 have two bedrooms or more, including the sole three-bedroom unit in the mix.

A four-bedroom apartment farther uptown went under contract back in May, soon after it was listed for $1.995 million with maintenance of $2,876 a month, but I’m wondering whether that sale will close given the time that has lapsed.  (I visited that co-op at its first open house and wrote about numerous issues that I saw.)

Conclusion: The asking price of $1,395 million for the apartment in question would be realistic if the maintenance were somewhat lower.

This is the classic instance of an apartment searching for the right buyer, one for whom space trumps everything else.

Below are the some of the other properties that I have seen and that various brokers have listed:

  • In Morningside Heights between Amsterdam and Broadway and close to a subway station, an eccentric one-bedroom, one-bath co-op that has disconcerting appeal.   The bedroom is accessed through another room called an office, which most parents would use as a master bedroom.  The living room is small, but there is a dining area with banquettes built in to a corner near the pleasant galley kitchen.  There are closets galore, plenty of panache but exposures only to the walls of other buildings.  Having twice inched down from $599,000, the listing price of $579,000 with monthly maintenance of $1,200 for the unit in a 1910 boutique  building with part-time doorman and a welcoming pet policy is not out of line. 
  • An inexpensively renovated one-bedroom apartment with decent views west to the Hudson River in Lincoln Square.  This 785-sf co-op has an interior kitchen of debatable quality but unusually abundant closet space.  In a 1984 full-service high-rise that has a garage and gym, this unit is fairly listed at $619,000, down from $669,000 in May, with maintenance per month of $1,248.  
  • On Central Park West in the mid 80s, an exquisitely renovated three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath co-op plus an attractively renovated studio down the hall for guests or use as an office.  With glorious views of Central Park and the skyline east and south, the apartment boasts an expansive center-island kitchen of peerless quality, a master bedroom that has an unsually spacious en suite bath with tub and steam shower, an enormous amount of closet space and a den that could double as bedroom.  In a full-service 1906 building that is pet friendly but not especially prestigious, this airy unit is offered for an optimistic $6 million with monthly maintenance of $5,010 that, it turns out, is an appropriate price: It went under contract within six weeks.  
  • A well-renovated one-bedroom condo on West End Avenue in the low 70s.  The 711-sf apartment has an aggressively up-to-date galley kitchen but suffers from exposures only toward brick walls.  And although the bath is highly styled, the tub practically mandates a ladder for access, so high is the rim.  There are well proportioned rooms, washer/dryer, gas-burning fireplace and a fair amount of closet space.  Despite low abated real estate tax of merely $257 a month and common charges of $922, this unit in a 1924 doorman building that still has 58 percent renters seemed overpriced at $825,000.  Yet it somehow it found a buyer six weeks after it was offered.

Tomorrow:  Surveyed buyers are in the dark

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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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One thought on “Out and About: Is the price on target?

  1. Hello Malcolm: Co-operatives are having difficulty in the mid to mid high levels as financing is still difficult to get and records are being attained on trophy properties only and condominiums with global money because it is more of an investment as it can be rented out….so until the banks give financing to co-operatives, you are right about pricing, it will have difficulty and have to be perhaps lowered. Marilyn Harra Kaye, Pres. MLBKaye Int’l Realty, Realtor,


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