My Co-op Is Growing: More Evidence of Square Footage Lies

Back on Monday.  Here’s a recent post that is something I’m passionate about.  BTW…I have a solution for the square footage fiasco and will share on the first episode of TGTV…stay tuned.

Jonathan Miller’s latest Three Cents Worth graph was posted Friday at Curbed.  And the graph shows that condos have decreased in size and co-ops have increased in size over the past 10 years.

Whaaaaaaat?  OK, I get the fact that the size gap between co-ops and condos seems to have decreased over the past ten years but how in G*d’s name have co-ops increased in size?   I will tell you how.  Let’s not forget that almost every new conversion and new development is condo so the co-op inventory we are talking about is unchanged.  My 1200sf co-op that I bought (and sold) 10 years ago is now 1400sf? 

All too often, the unfortunate answer is a resounding "YES!"  Again we are talking about an unregulated system of quoting or as my profession likes to say, "approximating" square footage (check out the pitfalls of price per square foot).  This chart is more proof that as time passes, the "approximate" square footage of many co-ops is trending higher.  Jonathan Miller attributes some of the skewing of data to the high end co-op sales of the past ten years.  Perhaps, but I think it is more a result of overstating square footage.  I have witnessed  the "puberty" of apartments in most listing databases:  The fledgling 1BR that has gone from 620sf to a handsome 750sf "spacious home,"  and the Classic 7 room on West End Avenue that "sprouted" a few years back from a measly 2000sf to a robust 2400sf.

The Attorney General’s office makes some effort to regulate stated condo square footage but makes no effort to do the same for co-ops.  Puzzling to me.  Until some sort of regulation is set in place for co-op square footage, growth will continue until one day that now 2400sf apartment will become a 3000sf star NBA center!

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