Ceiling heights on the rise in luxury properties

Tall, light and sexy — that seems to be the newest phrase used to describe desirable luxury homes. Buyers are increasingly asking for — and willing to pay for — higher than normal ceilings. Developers seem to be listening, forgoing the average height and building upwards of 10 to 20 feet!

Earlier this year the New York Times reported on this trend, and now the Wall Street Journal gives the rundown on properties with elevated ceilings garnering elevated prices, citing examples from all of the country.

Even though price per square foot typically drops as spaces get larger, it’s not so when developers begin thinking in cubic square feet. Buyers seem to agree. “I can sense the difference from nine to 11 feet,” says Mr. Rogen, who searched for three years before finding an apartment with the lofty feel and amenities he wanted in Tribeca. His new home is a 2,700-square-foot unit, listed for $8.7 million. The clincher? It has 11-foot-high ceilings which he feels are worth the price because they give him the best way to see the Hudson River view.

Data from Realtor.com showed that raising ceiling height just a few feet correlated to an average 50 percent jump in average listing price per square foot. In addition, the premium was greatest for ceiling heights between 12 and 15 feet — an average 76 percent higher than units with standard heights.

The justification for higher prices is that each additional foot in height can costs a builder roughly 5-10 percent more in construction costs.

While ceiling heights certainly have some benefits — more light, better views and a more open feeling — they can also have some cons. If a property is small, an overly high ceiling can make it feel claustrophobic. Rooms with greater heights can also be harder to decorate. [WSJ]