Condos Soar to New Heights

In the never-ending quest to get the biggest bang for their buck, developers know that size matters. That is why many are raising the ceilings and windows of their newest properties and charging a premium for the added height.

A recent example is a Fisher Island penthouse where 18 foot ceilings and 6,644 square feet sold for $21.5 million, or $3,236 per square foot. This represents the highest price ever recorded for a property on this exclusive island in Miami.

Peter Zalewski of Cranespotters, a Miami-based condo monitor, told the Wall Street Journal that price per square foot usually declines as condo floor space increases – but developers of high ceiling condos are doing the opposite, because they “are thinking in cubic feet.”

A recent article in The Real Deal publication maintains that buyers appear to be more than willing to pay higher premiums for units with ceilings rising 11 feet or more, according to an analysis by listing website Cited by the Wall Street Journal, developers who raise ceilings from the typical eight feet up to 10 or 11 feet may ask an average premium of 50% more on a square foot basis. As an example, the average luxury listing price may jump from $1,036 per square foot to $1,550.

Prices can jump even higher when ceilings are between 12 feet and 15 feet. At this extreme, developers are asking a whopping 76% over their standard counterparts, according to the analysis.

In New York City, where prices are already at a premium, ceilings between 12 and 15 feet high had an average asking price of $3,700 per square foot. Of course, one would expect that ceiling heights in that range most often are in pricier, amenity-laden new developments, according to the Wall Street Journal.

One recent purchaser at Witkoff’s 111 Murray in NYC paid a premium for a condo with soaring 11 foot ceilings. He told the Journal, “I can sense the difference from nine to 11 feet.”

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