Case Study: Determining the Value-added for Having High Ceilings
A high ceiling is a feature which is typically associated with a penthouse. It can be difficult in these situations, however, to ascertain the value that is attributed solely to having higher ceilings. This is because a penthouse typically also has other value-added features such as one or more of the following:
- an upgraded master bathroom
- an upgraded kitchen
- the best view in the building
- an unusually large floor plan in relation to other floor plans in the building
- additional parking spaces
Most importantly, a penthouse is rare and therefore commands a higher premium than the rest of the floor plans in the building that are in greater supply.
What if, however, we could hold all else constant in order to better determine the added value that is associated with having high ceilings? In this regard, Icon Brickell presents itself as an interesting case study. The penthouses at Icon Brickell do NOT have higher ceilings than the rest of the units. However, certain floors do have higher ceilings. In Tower 1 of Icon Brickell, floors 14, 15, 22, 28 and 41 have 16-foot ceilings. In Tower 2, floors 14, 15, 22 and 41 have 16-foot ceilings. The rest of the floors, including the penthouse levels, have 9-foot ceilings. As a result, it is very possible, and highly likely, that a unit located on the 41st floor will sell at a premium to a comparable unit that is located on the 42nd floor. Furthermore, the situation also presents the possibility that a unit located on the 41st floor will sell at a higher price per square foot than one located on the penthouse level.
Due to the lack of resales, there is no evidence to validate my assumption but I think we can all agree that a high ceiling is a feature that should indeed command a premium. Of course, there are going to be those who would argue that they would never pay a premium for having higher ceilings due to the higher energy costs that would be associated but, then again, those are the type of people who likely wouldn’t pay a premium for just about anything. I’m not here to provide everyone with an all-knowing answer as to what that premium should be. The answer will be provided to us by way of our free market economy. However, it makes for an interesting story to follow.
Which would you rather have, a penthouse located on the 57th floor with a 9-foot ceiling or a unit located on the 41st floor with a 16-foot ceiling?