Looking up: Developers raise ceilings to fetch higher prices

In NYC, pads with 12-foot ceilings can fetch healthy premium

Interior at 111 Murray Street in Tribeca
Interior at 111 Murray Street in Tribeca

Who said size doesn’t matter? In the race for bigger and better amenities, developers are commanding a premium for high ceilings and windows.

Buyers are more than willing to fork over larger sums for units with ceilings rising 11 feet or higher, according to an analysis by listing website Realtor.com cited by the Wall Street Journal. Developers who raise the ceiling to 10 or 11 feet from a more typical eight or nine feet may ask an average premium of 50 percent on a square foot basis. (For example, the average listing price can jump to $1,550 per foot from $1,036 per foot.

Units with ceilings between 12 and 15 feet high can ask a premium of 76 percent over their standard counterparts, according to the analysis.

In New York, condos with ceilings between 12 feet and 15 feet had an average asking price of $3,700 per square foot. Ceiling heights in that range tend to be in pricier, amenity-laden new developments, according to the Journal.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

Eric Rogen, a buyer at Witkoff’s [TRDataCustom] 111 Murray, which has 11-foot-high ceilings, said he was willing to pay a premium for the higher ceilings.

“I can sense the difference from nine to 11 feet,” he told the newspaper.

Since each foot can cost developers 5 percent to 10 percent more to building, the tallest ceilings are typically found on higher floors, where developers are already looking to squeeze out the most value.

Miller Samuel’s Jonathan Miller said tall windows can boost values — although the opposite can be true if the apartment is too small. “The smaller the apartment, the [smaller] the impact of tall ceilings,” he said. [WSJ]E.B. Solomont