Recent Transactions in the Real Estate Market

Upper East Side

70 East 96th Street

Three-bed, three-bath, 2,000-square-foot prewar co-op.

Asking: $775,000. Selling: $775,000.

Maintenance: $1,938; 46 percent tax-deductible.

Time on the market: one day.

CANDELA’S FAMIGLIA. This 1929 building was designed by architect Rosario Candela–he did a slew of the city’s Gatsby-era luxury apartment houses, including 834 and 960 Fifth Avenue, 775 Park Avenue, 19 East 72nd Street and the Stanhope Hotel–and possesses the features that distinguish his designs: a restrained facade and interlocking floor plans. This apartment is a centrally air-conditioned, three-bedroom-plus-a-maid’s room “classic seven,” the largest layout in the building. And it apparently wasn’t a hard sell. For privacy and quiet, “only the living room walls touch” between apartments, said Jackie Schwimmer, a 30-year resident and the broker of this apartment. (Candela’s puzzlelike approach to putting the floors together makes sense when you realize that he later wrote books on cartography.) After the people’s revolution–when the building went co-op in 1984–the owners have tended to be very loyal: The seller of this apartment had lived in three different units in the building over the years. “People move from smaller to larger depending on their family constellation,” said the broker-resident. The buyers came in on the first day, squired by another Corcoran broker, and offered full price. Broker: Corcoran Group (Jackie Schwimmer, Peri Clark).

535 East 86th Street

Two-bed, 2.5-bath, 1,600-square-foot postwar co-op.

Asking: $619,000. Selling: $620,000.

Maintenance: $1,280; 50 percent tax-deductible.

Time on the market: one week.

WHEN THEY WON’T PAY WHAT YOU’RE ASKING ASK FOR MORE. When broker James Lake took over the marketing of this apartment, he raised the price from $595,000 to $619,000 and created a bidding war. The apartment, he realized, had long been misunderstood–at least in relation to all the other apartments for sale in the city. “In 1992, they wanted $699,000, which was ridiculous,” he said of the sellers. “Then they wanted $595,000, and that was too low [for this market]. People didn’t think it was for them.” After all, there’s a view of the river from every room of this 20th-floor apartment in a 1960 white brick high-rise that’s only a 50-yard dash from Carl Schurz Park. On the other hand, there’s the long expired “flock wallpaper” and other 70’s-era style liabilities. After all that time, the eventual buyers lived right next door in a similar kind of building, but in a smaller apartment. Broker: Corcoran (James Lake); Douglas Elliman.

52 East End Avenue, near 81st Street

Three-bed, 3.5-bath, 2,660-square-foot postwar condo.

Asking: $1.14 million. Selling: $1.1 million.

Charges: $1,884. Taxes: $1,554.

Time on the market: two days.

SINGLE GUY SHANGHAIS CURVACEOUS SUITE. When the Bank of Tokyo decided it was time to rid itself of this double-balconied, 39th-floor apartment at 52 East End Avenue, one of two they bought in 1988 for $811,000, it didn’t take long for a single guy who lived in a two-bedroom apartment 10 floors below to decide he wanted to trade up. The views would certainly be better–there are 360 degrees of ’em. The new apartment has a living room, den, maid’s room, dining room and lots and lots of curved glass from which to see the city, splayed out before you in all its twinkly magnificence, for an ego rush. Broker: William B. May Company (Eric Ozada).

Upper West Side

221 West 82nd Street, near Broadway

Three-bed, two-bath, 1,500-square-foot prewar co-op.

Asking: $595,000. Selling: $548,000.

Maintenance: $1,160; 50 percent tax-deductible.

Time on the market: four months.

FREELANCER ON THE ROOF. The man who bought this three-bedroom apartment had been living nearby on West 79th Street in an apartment that broker Madeline McKenna sold him a couple of years ago. Now he’s working at home so he needed more space. Realizing this, he called her and said, “Let’s go shopping.” They looked at about 25 apartments. This one has south and north exposures, and views over nearby town houses and other architecturally pleasant prewar buildings. For work-at-home types, the building has a roof deck, so recess is just an elevator ride away. Broker: Bellmarc Realty (Madeline McKenna); Citi Habitats.

101 West 81st Street (Endicott Apartments)

Two-bed, one-bath, 1,000-square-foot prewar co-op.

Asking: $365,000. Selling: $350,000.

Maintenance: $1,015; 40 percent tax-deductible.

Time on the market: five months.

SITE OF THE NEXT TUBE STUD’S SELF-DISCOVERY. The Endicott was part of the makeover of this somewhat-worse-for-wear neighborhood in the 1980’s. (The developer even let his wife open Endicott Booksellers on the ground floor, providing a classy brass-and-paneling gathering place for the Channel 13 tote-bag set for over a decade until Barnes & Noble invaded and killed off the area’s independent bookstores.) This apartment is on the third floor, with a wood-burning fireplace and exposed brick walls. It took a while to sell–the renters who had been subletting for the last three years kind of cluttered it up, and the price was a bit high. “But the market caught up with it,” said the broker, Don Mead. Besides, the sellers had bought it for less than $300,000 a decade ago and had faith that the market wouldn’t let them down if they just waited a little while. The buyer is a single TV journalist who just got his big-break New York job. Hmmm, could it be at ABC just downtown? Heads up, Matt Lauer! Broker: Bellmarc (Don Mead); Ashforth Warburg Associates.

East Midtown

309 East 49th Street, near Second Avenue

Two-bed, two-bath, 1,200-square-foot postwar condo.

Asking: $440,000. Selling: $425,000.

Charges: $903. Taxes: $554.

Time on the market: two months.

THIS APARTMENT MAKES KIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS. “Two kids put the kibosh on the deal,” said broker Rhea Stein of two previous contracts on this apartment that never matured into a sale. First, a girl’s parents were going to buy the apartment for her until she turned her nose up at it. Another girl had the same reaction when her mother brought her by to see the place she planned to move them into. But Ms. Stein doesn’t blame the brats for the indecision. And she certainly doesn’t blame the apartment, which is in the rear of this 1984 tower, which the A.I.A. Guide to New York City praises for its “curved masonry balcony parapets” that provide a “strong modulation to the facade” while still allowing “those seated to enjoy the view.” The person who was seated on this 120-square-foot terrace for the last five years was a Japanese diplomat, who was renting. When his tour of duty ended, the owners decided to sell. While only on the sixth floor, it looks out over the trees of the back gardens of neighboring prewar buildings. And the layout doesn’t suffer from the usual postwar malaise: “So many condos are sort of square and boxy and gingerbready,” complained broker Rhea Stein, who has to see a lot of them. “You have big kitchens because people want that, but you end up having a living room that’s 10 by 10.” The buyer was an older guy who had seen another apartment like this one in the building. No children appeared to dissuade him, so he bought it. Broker: Corcoran (Rhea Stein).

Greenwich Village

63 Downing Street (Downing Court

Two-bed, two-bath, 1,200-square-foot postwar condo.

Asking: $499,000. Selling: $499,000.

Time on the market: two weeks.

COUPLE BOUND FOR CORNFIELDS EJECTED FROM WEST VILLAGE. Nestled near Bedford Street and Seventh Avenue South, which places it right on the edge of one of the most insufferably cozy parts of the city, Downing Court is a rather unremarkable late-1980’s, mid-rise condominium building for the area (the “court” part of the name comes from the way you enter the building through an iron gate and cross a little courtyard to get to the front door). This is a “very straightforward apartment,” said Gabriella Winter, the broker who sold it. “If it had been on the third floor without views, it wouldn’t have been a big deal.” But since it was on the eighth floor, just underneath the penthouse, it has direct views east and south, and there are two terraces. The quickness of the sale took the sellers, who had planned to relocate out of state to the “middle of the country” in the spring, a little by surprise. “The sale came quicker and better than they expected, so they went into a temporary rental in Forest Hills,” said the broker. Of course, the good news is that bit of time in Queens should keep them from getting the cultural bends from moving too quickly from the Village into flyover country. Broker: Corcoran (Gabriella Winter).

Recent Transactions in the Real Estate Market