Bitcoin hits the NYC real estate market for the first time


Yesterday, the New York Post reported that real estate developer Ben Shaoul of Magnum Real Estate Group has two units under Bitcoin contract at 389 East 89th Street–the first condos to use the payment method in NYC. One unit is a 624-square-foot studio that was asking $875,000, and the second is a 989-square-foot one-bedroom plus den that was asking $1.48 million. And according to Brick Underground, there are already a few very entrepreneurial landlords Brooklyn accepting Bitcoin for rent payment.

Screenshot of the value of Bitcoin and one year chart taken at 11:55am EST 3/22/18

Earlier this month, the LA Times described the use of Bitcoin in real estate transactions as “the confluence of two extremely bubble-prone fields.” Bitcoin’s hourly value fluctuations make the real estate market look quite tame. In the past year, Bitcoin has gone from just over $1,000 to $8,592 (topping out at just under $10,000 on December 18, 2017).

But Jack Dorsey, the chief executive of Twitter and payment company Square, just told the Times yesterday, “Bitcoin will become the world’s single currency” in 10 years. If there is any truth to that, the real estate market better get ready.

One year ago, a buyer in Southern California used 3,300 Bitcoins to buy a Cape Cod-style mansion in Manhattan Beach for $3.225 million. According to the LA Times, if he bought the same house for the same asking price one year later, “that same number of Bitcoins could’ve bought multiple beach houses, a few penthouse condos and a private island in the Caribbean.”

Through BitPay, a third-party service, Shaoul will accept the Bitcoin payment and converts it to dollars. BitPay then pays Shaoul’s company cash.

Lisa Simonsen, a broker at Douglas Elliman, says, “This is a way of being creative in today’s market.”

Although Douglas Elliman has not closed any transactions with Bitcoin yet, several of their residential resale sellers and single-family new construction builders across the nation (NYC, Long Island, Westchester, Miami to name a few) have said they will accept Bitcoin for payment. Elliman also has a few of sellers saying they will “only accept Bitcoin.”

773 Armonk Road, via Douglas Elliman. The 96-acre estate holds a 70,000-square-foot 1904 manor home, and it’s asking $16 million.

Here are the Elliman listings currently accepting Bitcoin:

  • In Manhattan, broker Lisa Simonsen has a listing at 441 East 57th Street, Apt. 1, in the Sutton Place area, where the buyer will accept partial payment with Bitcoin.
  • In Long Island, broker Traci Clinton’s builders at 1 Morgan Court in Manhasset have said they will accept Bitcoin.
  • In Westchester, Margaret Harrington’s seller at 773 Armonk Road in Mt. Kisco requested we add to the purchase price that he would accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
  • And in Miami, Dean Bloch’s sellers at 200 Biscayne Blvd Way, Apt. 3205 & Apt. 5108 will accept Bitcoin.

For the full article from 6sqft click here.

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