Rooms With a View (and How Much You’ll Pay for Them)

Not all New York City views are created equal.

Direct Central Park views may be the most valuable amenity in Manhattan real estate, but in a market filled with soaring new developments — some of which wind up blocking the views of other buildings — even a partial glimpse of a river, park or the city skyline can also command a hefty premium.

To get a sense of how much people are willing to pay for the city’s most sought-after views, Jonathan Miller, the president of the appraisal firm Miller Samuel, looked at several buildings that have stunning vistas and compared the sale prices of apartments with similar layouts in each building — those with views and those without.

New Yorkers, he discovered, are generally willing to pay 10 to 25 percent more for an apartment that allows them to wander over to the window and take in the sights — whether that’s a boat moving up the river or the rolling lawns of Central Park.

Mr. Miller calculated a rough percentage of an apartment’s value that could be attributed solely to the view by winnowing out the other surcharges that might affect a property’s value, like a floor-level premium, which Mr. Miller said ran “about 1 percent for every floor you go up.” (In other words, all other things being equal, apartments along the same line typically increase in value at about 1 percent per floor.)

He also found that two apartments of different sizes but with the same view command the same premium. “The dollar amount may differ, but the percentage of the property value associated with the view remains the same,” he said.

Mr. Miller’s research suggests that the most costly views are in buildings where there is no possibility of having those views obstructed — like a view of Central Park that can’t be lost because the building is right on the park. He also found that park-view premiums run higher than those for river views, but that expansive vistas of the city are valued just about the same as limited or narrow views of Central Park.

“Even complete views above the 50th floor of a super-tall building are not guaranteed in this town, because the skyline is always changing,” Mr. Miller said. “Helicopter views can be partially interrupted by another super-tall building across the street.”

“The very first thing I did was walk to the window,” said Dr. Bovino, a retired retina surgeon who also has homes in South Florida and Aspen, Colo. “I took one look at the view and said, ‘I’ll take it.’”

While many apartments along Fifth Avenue have only two exposures (east and west), the Bovinos’ 18th-floor co-op offers 270-degree views to the west, south and east — including dramatic above-the-tree views of Central Park from the living room and bedrooms.

Now that he and his wife, a real estate and mortgage broker, have retired, Dr. Bovino is selling the co-op, so they can move closer to their grandchildren in Colorado. The asking price is $11.5 million.

“Some New Yorkers are willing to sacrifice good views for square footage,” Dr. Bovino said. “But with these kind of views, you’re bringing the outdoors in and creating the illusion of more space.”

It should be no surprise that a front-row seat at Central Park commands a hefty premium. After comparing the closing price of Dr. Bovino’s 2,000-square-foot co-op in 2006 with two other sales in the building — one measuring 2,400 square feet and facing the park that sold for $11.5 million and the other measuring 1,700 square feet but with rear views of rooftops and a partially obstructed cityscape that sold for $4.2 million — Mr. Miller determined that park views in the building came at a 25 percent premium.

Across the park, Teresa Sommers has dreamy, direct tree views of Central Park from the casement windows in the living room and the master suite of her third-floor Classic Six on Central Park West. Ms. Sommers and her family have put the apartment on the market for $4.495 million, because the children are grown and have moved elsewhere.

“It makes you feel like you’re in the trees,” she said. “Just to be able to have some of outdoors inside is valuable in itself.”

How valuable exactly? Mr. Miller compared the sale price of Ms. Sommers’s condo in 1991 with that of a unit in the northwest corner of the building that does not face the park, but that clears the roofline of the buildings across the street, and he concluded that a tree-line view of Central Park in that building comes with a 20 percent premium.

“Virtually no view is guaranteed, so perhaps the Central Park premium is worth more than any other view in the city, because it is unlikely that it would change in our lifetime,” Mr. Miller said. “Even river views can be obstructed.”

While you may not ever lose a front-and-center view of Central Park, other properties that face the park a few blocks away may not be so lucky.

At One57, a 6,200-square-foot penthouse fills the entire 87th floor of the 90-story building. Designed with walls of glass in most rooms, the condo offers panoramic views of Central Park, the downtown skyline, and the East and Hudson Rivers. But the building is still on West 57th Street, while the southern boundary of the park is West 59th.

Now that they are retiring, the Lotitos have listed their condo for $4.895 million, and are also selling their home in New Jersey, so they can buy a larger property in the same area of Manhattan, with similar views.

“We’re going big for retirement,” Mr. Lotito said. “We want double the space and the good views.”

But in the concrete jungle, where access to expansive greenery is valuable and rare, how do views of gardens compare with those of the cityscape and the skyline on a higher floor?

On a quiet block on West 12th Street, Colyer and Kate Curtis have south-facing views of large trees and gardens — in the backyards of townhomes across the street — from every room of their third-floor condo in a 13-story prewar building.

“It feels likes an oasis in the middle of New York City,” Ms. Curtis said. “The views of the gardens and trees create a sense of calm and quiet that is so precious in this city.”

The Curtises listed the condo for $3.55 million after buying a larger apartment for their growing family in the same building, a few floors up, with views of treetops and some of the cityscape.

Looking at sale prices in the building over the past decade, Mr. Miller discovered that while soothing treetop views command a certain price, they come at a 15 percent discount when compared to the prices of apartments on higher floors with open city views.

“From a marketability standpoint, having views of greenery is valuable — but still not as valuable as one from higher levels,” he said.

“It also implies that there’s an exclusivity of greenery in parks,” he added. “A tree outside your window doesn’t have the same permanence as a park across the street, and that’s where the value premium lies.”

Sahred From Source link Real Estate

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