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SoHo and Nolita Real Estate Selling Below Asking Price, Report Says

 This fourth-floor condo in SoHo sold for three percent less than its asking price. After listing the Crosby Street loft at $8.25 million, the seller agreed to part with it for $7.99 million.
This fourth-floor condo in SoHo sold for three percent less than its asking price. After listing the Crosby Street loft at $8.25 million, the seller agreed to part with it for $7.99 million.
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Streeteasy

SOHO — SoHo and Nolita apartment sellers are settling for less than they're asking, according to a new analysis — but don't get your hopes up.

Streeteasy data cruncher Alan Lightfeldt said not to expect any sweet deals in these areas.

"Sellers have asked for a whole lot more this year than they were last year and are still getting close to that asking price," said Lightfeldt, whose quarterly report produced results showing sellers were accepting bids roughly 2 percent lower than they were asking. "Asking prices have gone up by double digits in the last year in each of these neighborhoods."

"Buyers are able to get a little bit of a discount in both of those neighborhoods," he added. But he's noticed "a seller strategy in the downtown area to ask for a lot."

In Nolita, for example, asking prices have spiked 26.1 percent in just the last year. That figure dwarfs the 23.2 percent rise in listed prices in SoHo.

"It could be that their strategy is aim high and bring it down only if necessary," Lightfeldt said.

Gabby Warshawer, director of research at CityRealty, agreed. Given these neighborhoods' "yearslong track records of really high prices," aiming high with listing prices "makes sense," she said.

"They list them for very high prices because they expect to get what happened before," she said. "There’s a little bit of discount because they’re already sort of pushing the ceilings."

And given how much people are paying for properties in these neighborhoods, it's not totally unrealistic for property owners or brokers to try to match those sales.

"We would expect to see prices fairly high, because the demand is very high," Lightfeldt explained.

Supply is also very low. So much of the Village is protected by the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission, making it "difficult for sellers to bring new stock to these neighborhoods," he pointed out.

Constraints from the LPC result in more "boutique-style" homes, rather than "huge new developments that would keep up with demand."

All of which is to say, landmarking also means Village real estate is not going to get more affordable.

"Sellers will always have the upper hand," Lightfeldt said.

But this is only part of why the neighborhood will reliably rake in big money from buyers, he said.

Buyers seeking homes in the Village and SoHo are looking for a very specific product that can only be found in those neighborhoods — lofts in SoHo, and brownstones or townhouses in the Village.

"You're chasing after a relatively small number of highly unique homes," he said. "The fact that it's a limited product is what makes it appealing.

"Massive condos are not what people are looking for in these neighborhoods."

And people looking at property in the Village and SoHo are determined to live in those specific neighborhoods — otherwise they would go to other neighborhoods and get much more for the same price.

"You can go to Queens or parts of Brooklyn and you can get it for half the price," he said. "These buyers want that very special, unique luxury product."