The rental-to-condo conversion at 389 East 89th Street has long been touted as an “attainable luxury” building by developer Ben Shaoul, but Shaoul has taken its attainability to a whole new level. The Post reports that two condos in the building are in contact for Bitcoin, and are believed to be the first real estate transactions in the city to be made in the decentralized digital currency.
The sales represent two separate transactions. The first condo, a 624-square-foot studio, is in contract asking $875,000. The second, a 989-square-foot one-bedroom, one bathroom, entered contract at $1.485 million. Corcoran held both the listings.
To complete the transaction, Shaoul is using the service BitPay that will convert the Bitcoin into dollars. Shaoul’s company, Magnum Real Estate, will then receive cash from BitPay.
Despite being the alleged first real estate transactions in New York in Bitcoin, the concept of using the currency in such a transaction isn’t new. Real estate firm Bond New York announced in 2014 that it would begin accepting the digital currency. Real estate transactions in Bitcoin have also transpired across the country, in places like Austin and Kansas City, Missouri, writes Andrew Zaleski for Curbed.com.
“Any time a trend changes in real estate, there are some people who are quietly part of the trend, the enthusiasts behind the scenes. But then you have others who are acting like players or are really just trying to get eyeballs on a property,” Ryan Lundquist, a property appraiser in the Sacramento area, tells Zaleski. “And it certainly works, but does that reflect the market?”