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Three Cents Worth: Dogging Manhattan Apartment Values

[This week, real estate appraiser, Curbed graph guru, blogger, and podcaster Jonathan Miller examines how pet policies relate to sales.]

This week, I explored the housing patterns related to pets. Using information from the brokerage community and our records, I took a look at the Manhattan co-op/condo apartment market share and average sales price based on pet policy during the third quarter of 2013.

First, some disclaimers:
· This is not a cause and effect analysis (i.e. not allowing large dogs = highest value), rather it shows housing prices for properties that have certain policies.
· I presented apartment sales within buildings with these policies rather than by building (easier to do).
· We have two cats that my kids brought home without warning that I'm pretty sure I'd rather not have.
· We had two dogs way back when I was a kid.

Market Share by Sales
It was surprising to see how small the market share of sales located within buildings that don't allow pets (5%) was, yet nearly 3/4 of sales were within buildings that allowed them. Sales in anti-cat buildings were far fewer in numbers (0.1%) than sales in anti-dog buildings (4.9%) which explains all the cat videos on YouTube and why I wasn't able to trend anti-cat average sales price.

My favorite pet metric, indelibly stamped into real estate lore, has always been with buildings that have 50 pound weight limits for dogs (1%). So many questions. What if a dog weighs 49 pounds? Are they weighed periodically for compliance? Does the board have a weigh-in ceremony at the board interview (like a boxing match)? I have heard that some boards will ask the buyer to bring in their dog to determine their temperament. Ok, ok I am being unfair, but it does bring a whole new meaning to "playing with the big dogs."

Average Sales Price by Pet Policy
Interestingly, the average sales price of apartments located within buildings with a weight limit on dogs also had the highest average sales price. These buildings tend to be higher end co-ops. Because "Pets Allowed" is by far the dominant policy category, the price trend is nearly identical to the overall average sales price. Buildings with a "No Pets" policy are nearly the same as "Pets Allowed" buildings now, but have showed a large increase over the past two years.

While the "No Dogs" policy could be an outlier at the low end of the price spectrum, the average square footage of a sale in such a building was 897-square-feet, below the 1,249 average square feet of a "No Pets" building sale, below the 1,262-square-feet of all sales, and well below the 1,469-square-foot average of a "No Dogs over 50 Lbs" building.

· Miller Samuel [official]
· All Three Cents Worth [Curbed]